MYFO Exclusive: David Stern Talks Playoffs

The Stanley Cup Finals may be over, but the NBA Finals are just getting under way tonight. When offered the chance for an exclusive chat with NBA honcho David Stern, we couldn’t resist. After all, this is the guy Gary Bettman learned about running a league from. From the lips of the Master to your ears…

MYFO: Thanks for joining us, Mr. Stern. Are you familiar with MYFO at all?

David Stern: I do stop by occasionally. I have to say, though, that Mrs. Bettman looks nothing at all like that picture you guys posted.

MYFO: Are you a hockey fan?

Stern: Oh, sure. I follow that team up in Vancouver.

MYFO: Did you get to catch any of the Stanley Cup Finals?

Stern: Actually, I did. We built a little delay into our own playoff schedule, to allow a little extra hype to build up for the NBA Finals, so I was able to see most of the games. I only actually watched parts of two of them, but I was able to see them all.

MYFO: Yeah, about that delay for the NBA Finals. Was that so you wouldn’t have to compete with the Stanley Cup Finals?

Stern: Hahahahahahahahhahahahah! Oh, my. /wipes tear

MYFO: Well, anyway, what did you think about the games you did see?

Stern: Well, the first thing I noticed is that the quality of the officiating has improved dramatically. Did you see those phantom goalie interference penalties on the Red Wings in Game 5? Jess Kersey couldn’t have done a better job than that. That’s something I’ve been trying to get Gary to come around to for years.

MYFO: I’m not sure I follow you.

Stern: Bad officiating for the sake of bad officiating is just stupid. Blown calls should have a purpose.

MYFO: Have you talked to Gary Bettman during the Cup Finals?

Stern: Gary calls me regularly. Twice a day sometimes. I think I accidentally picked one up late last week.

MYFO: What did you talk about?

Stern: Oh, he was all like “Can you believe it? Red Wings and Penguins! Have you seen these ratings? People are actually starting to watch VERSUS, for crying out loud.” He was almost hysterical.

MYFO: What do you think about the improved ratings for the Cup Finals? Is that something you pay attention to?

Stern: I have to say, yes. And when I saw the huge increase for hockey, I knew what had to be done. Lakers-Celtics, baby! This is going to be the highest rated NBA Finals since Jordan could still jump. Bank it.

MYFO: Yeah, that turned out well for you. People probably wouldn’t have been that fired up to see the Spurs again.

Stern: Exactly. And that’s what I was talking about before–officiating with a purpose. That non-call on Brent Barry in Game 4 was a goddamn classic. And you know what the best part was?

MYFO: The apology?

Stern: That’s right! We came right out in public and said the call was wrong…and we’re not going to do a damn thing about it! Lakers-Celtics is what the people wanted, and that’s what the people got. It took Gary an amazingly long time to get that. Edmonton-Carolina? Are you fucking kidding me? Tampa-Calgary? That’s no way to run a league.

MYFO: Are you saying that professional sports leagues should rig their playoffs to get better matchups for TV?

Stern: First, I want to emphasize that NBA games are not fixed. Tim Donaghy was an isolated incident, a bad apple, and we have put that ugly chapter behind us. But to answer your question, yes.

MYFO: When Gary Bettman left the NBA to take over the NHL, did you give him any advice?

Stern: Yeah, but the dummy didn’t take any of it. “Avoid labor troubles.” “Maximize your exposure on major networks.” “Crack down on the thugs and hoodlums.” Although, to be fair, he doesn’t really have that last problem like I do. That Anson Carter looks kind of shady, though. I bet he knows Stephen Jackson.

MYFO: Mr. Stern, thanks for your time.

Stern: No problem. Say, if you guys aren’t busy, would you do an NBA Finals liveblog? I love those things!

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3 Comments

  1. Fuck and no.

  2. Basket-ball??

    /Had to be done

  3. What’s a basketball? Is that when they ride horses?


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