David Stern has been making the media rounds as we countdown to NBA D-Day, which is scheduled for Wednesday. Stern is a master of spin, and is obviously going to say whatever it takes to make the NBA look as strong as possible.
However, on Stephen A. Smith’s radio show Stern discussed the possibility of losing an entire season.
“I refuse to contemplate it or discuss because we are going to make a deal. (Host: So you’re confident?) Unlike any other deal, if I don’t bid enough for your house you don’t have to sell it to me. Or if you ask too much I don’t have to buy it. Our players, there’s going to be a deal. The only question is how much damage is done to the game and our fans and the people who work in our industry before we make that deal.”
So basically, Stern is saying that they will make a deal eventually. Notice that he isn’t too clear on when exactly that deal will be made. They could make a deal tomorrow, or they could make a deal a year from now, and both would technically make Stern’s statement true.
Stern has been a master of public relations, which has allowed him to turn the NBA into a global powerhouse. He knows exactly what to say and how to say it, and this is most likely another one of those cases.
Kurt Helin of NBC’s Pro Basketball Talk has a similar opinion on the topic. “It’s vintage Stern in that it’s a great quote and headline, but it’s meaning is vague. Besides, to make a deal would require the two sides actually sitting down and meeting, and as of this writing no talks are scheduled.”
The bottom line is that Stern can talk all he wants about how the league will reach a deal, but until they do these statements carry no weight.