Fascinating convo over at FeartheBeard about the Lig's recent fining of "menacing gestures."
FtB is joined by the LA Times' Kurt Streeter for a lively discussion. They argue that Stern misconstrued Pierce's hand motion as a gang sign. Definitely worth reading the entire debate. My shorthand does not do their take justice. But, here's the cribnotes, FtB's analysis:
"David Stern has done a lot of good for the game, but more and more, he seems to be hopelessly out of touch with its modern wants and needs. He gives us dress codes, while a rogue ref is busy fixing games. He ignores the imbalance of the conferences to the point that the playoffs are a sham. And now he is scapegoating one of the game’s good guys in a way that only serves to glamorize the very thing he is trying to abdicate. This is grown-man business, Mr. Stern. Call up Paul on the phone. Fly him to New York for a meeting. But don’t put him on Front Street and douse him in gasoline to satisfy your own ego. It’s more than just wrong. It’s irresponsible and insulting. Both to Pierce and to the game you are trying to protect."
Here's my take:
1) It is unclear that the Lig fined Pierce because his “menacing gesture” was gang-related. The Lig dished out the same fine to Stevenson for a throat-slash. Sometimes a “menacing gesture” is just a “menacing gesture.” The gang connotations are fascinating, but seem to be an association that has been made in retrospect by reporters and bloggers.
2) It seems just as plausible (if not more) that the Lig was concerned about the macho-grandstanding in the first round. And wanted to nip it in the bud before the games really counted. It appeared as preemptive action in accord with the rule that players are not to leave the bench. Stern and Stu have made a concerted effort to make sure they don’t have to legislate another Malice in the Palace.
3) I’m always puzzled by the authority that is afforded to Stern. Stu Jackson is the dispenser of Lig justice. He’s also a respected and accomplished basketball professional in his own right. Not only does the blaming of Stern for all Lig decisions continue this myth of one-man rule, it disrespects Lig figures like Jackson and members of the rules committee who themselves negotiate and help decide the rules of the Lig.
The discussion continues...click for more and weigh in...