David Stern Discusses Metta World Peace Suspension, Chris Paul Veto
Commissioner of the NBA, David Stern, joined the Mason and Ireland Show on 710 ESPN Radio on Friday to discuss several pertinent issues that involve the Los Angeles Lakers.
Stern talked about the shortened season and how teams adjusted to the condensed 66-game season. He stated that the teams did a great job of adjusting to the increased workload, and that he’s looking forward to a full slate of 82 games.
“You never like to have a shortened season,” Stern stated. “But compared to what we expected, or what we were afraid of, it really couldn’t have been better.”
Stern also chatted about the recent suspension of Metta World Peace, and how he came to the decision to sit the Los Angeles forward for seven games.
“We look at tape. We look at injury. We look at past involvement,” said Stern. “And I came up with, what I thought, was a very significant penalty. Seven games. When measured against our own historical punishments handed out for similar things.”
The commissioner also mentioned that he was expecting his decision to be questioned and scrutinized by media members and fans.
“It was merited by the reckless and dangerous way which the elbow was thrown.”
Stern went on to talk about the controversial decision to veto a trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom back in December. It became an even bigger issue when Paul was ultimately traded to the Lakers cross-hall rivals, the L.A. Clippers. Stern, who has been rather tight-lipped about the veto in the first place, didn’t reveal anything too surprising during the interview.
“We just thought we could get a better deal for the future of New Orleans,” Stern said about the deal. “And we did. It’s very hard to know up front. The judgement was made that the deal on the table might have had New Orleans as a .500 team, but we really liked Eric Gordon a lot, and they really liked Minnesota’s draft pick.”
While many Laker fans are still upset at Stern for making the decision to refuse Paul’s addition to the Lakers, it seems that the commissioner won’t ever give them the satisfaction of admitting the original deal may have been a better option for New Orleans.
Regardless, Stern went on to say that league ownership of teams is something he would like to avoid in the future, but didn’t rule out the possibility of the league’s next commissioner taking similar actions.
To hear the entire interview, check out the Mason and Ireland Show.