Dec 5, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; NBA commissioner David Stern on the court before a game between the New Orleans Hornets and the Los Angeles Lakers at the New Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

David Stern: The Modern Day Grinch?

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Just look at that smile. Evil. Diabolical. David Stern may be the NBA’s most hated man, as goes for most commissioners of most professional sports leagues, but is he conspiring against Christmas? According to Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Gate, yes. Add this one to the latest list of complaints about David Stern:

 One of the most distasteful aspects of commissioner David Stern‘s legacy – ruining Christmas for far too many people – comes into play again this year with five televised games scheduled. “It used to be two teams,” retired coach Phil Jackson said. “But I don’t think anybody should play on Christmas Day. Your little kids are putting batteries in their new toys, all kinds of family stuff going on, and now you’re supposed to get focused on a game in the middle of the afternoon?”

Is David Stern in fact trying to ruin Christmas? Is it just his way of getting back at the NBA players and coaches that make him oodles of money? Or does it have to do more with the fact that the NBA Christmas tradition has been a huge commercial success? Ranging from shoe campaigns to specialty jerseys and higher ratings, holiday games are a giant cash cow. And that’s something any commissioner appeals to.

More importantly, fans love Christmas games. They love watching, cheering and trash-talking with their family members that they only see a few times a year. They love making their Lakers-dominated family members eat their words for the the past two seasons and they’re going to enjoy it even more this season (or maybe that one’s just me).

Sure, it may suck for some players and coaches that don’t like to play on Christmas day, but isn’t a sacrifice from a few in order to allow many to enjoy their holidays to the greatest extent in line with the Christmas spirit? It looks a lot more like David Stern is promoting Christmas. Okay, that might have been a bit of a stretch.

Either way, this seems like just another addition to the long list of complaints that people have had against Stern. Some of them are warranted, like say blocking a trade for “basketball reasons” or fining the San Antonio Spurs for resting their players. This one… not so much.

All in all, David Stern may not be the best commissioner in the world, but hey, at least he isn’t Roger Goodell.

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