David Stern petrified that the Knicks and Nets are going to fight on the court 1970s style
The calendar reads 2013 but don’t be shocked to learn in the next few days that David Stern is still listening to Steely Dan and considers the Pittsburgh Pirates legit World Series contenders.
No, David. It’s not 1977. The NBA does not have a problem with on-court fighting. And despite Lamar Odom’s best efforts, your league does not have a crack problem.
The NY Post reported Tuesday that Stern organized a meeting with New York Knicks owner James Dolan and Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov last season in an effort to cool tensions between the two franchises.
“There was such a meeting and the parties both said it was a very cordial and pleasant one,” a league official told the Post.
The NBA, a league build on great rivalries, doesn’t really have a legit one heading into the 2013-14 season, besides Knicks-Nets. Despite the league’s steady ratings the last few years, that’s a problem.
The worst part about Stern attempting to ruin a good thing is that this good thing could have been even better in 2013-14. Kevin Garnett had his infamous “Honey Nut Cheerios” run-in with the Knicks last season and Paul Pierce has always been a great Madison Square Garden heel. With them in the mix, every Knicks-Nets game this season would have been like a football game in terms of build-up. Two-and-a-half hour pre-game show with EJ, Kenny, Charles and (even) Shaq? Sign me up.
Hopefully this isn’t the beginning of a trend with the NBA. Adam Silver, who will take over for Stern in February, has to have some say in this type of stuff and should have told the old man to take a breather.
The Artest brawl was an aberration and it was nearly 10 years ago. You want to leave the league with sky-high ratings? Let this Knicks-Nets thing play out on its own.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS