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Weekly This And That--The Vampire Edition

David Stern this week:

NEW YORK -- NBA commissioner David Stern said Friday he thinks eliminating teams will be on the table during collective bargaining as a way to solve the league's financial woes.

"It's a sensitive subject for me because I've spent 27 years in this job working very hard not only to maintain all of our teams, but along the way add a few," Stern said during his preseason conference call.

"But I think that's a subject that will be on the table with the players as we look to see what's the optimum way to present our game, and are there cities and teams that cannot make it in the current economic environment. I'm not spending a lot of time on it." first reported Thursday that the league would "continue to be open to contraction," after Stern said he wanted player costs reduced by $700-800 million.

That set off predictable panic in some small-market cities whose teams have struggled on the court and at the gate. Asked if contraction should be a chilling word in Memphis, Stern said: "No, it shouldn't be. It's a good word to use, especially in collective bargaining."

Earlier this year:

The N.B.A. announced a new salary cap of $58.04 million on Wednesday night, a higher-than-expected figure that could bolster several teams.

The figure was sent to the 30 franchises early in the evening and announced to the news media shortly after.

The 2010-11 cap represents a modest increase, about $340,000, over last season’s salary cap. But it was a positive sign for the league, which had been projecting a significant decrease in the cap, based on expected lower revenues. The figure is a $2 million increase over the most recent projections.

In a memorandum sent to teams late Tuesday night, the league announced that the salary cap for the 2009-10 season would be $57.7 million, a 1.6 percent decrease from last season, and a more drastic decline for 2010-11 — perhaps as much as 5 percent — could be put in place. A copy of the memo, first reported, was obtained by The New York Times.
David Stern has done a lot of good for professional basketball but the fact still remains that he is an ass--a very specific ass: one who serves the owners above all else. The reason he has to be an ass is because the people he represents (the owners) are unorganized boobs who like to throw all sorts of money at people who don't deserve it (that's pretty much the job description: see Selig, Bud). . Luckily for them, the NBA Players Union is even more unorganized and Stern has been able to run this sort of BS out prior to each collective bargaining session in order to get what he wants from the players: massive concessions.

This time around, and in the span of only a few months, he has pulled out the following nonsense:
  • Telling teams they need to spend carefully in free agency because the cap is going to go down right before the cap went up.
  • Throwing out contraction and the 1/3 reduction of player salaries following an increase in the cap and one of the most relevant off seasons in recent memory.
I'm sure Mr. Stern will cry wolf a few more times before the season ends with a Heat/Lakers or Celtics/Lakers Finals. After all, when you're the bagman for a group of guys who can't seem to keep their wallets in their pants, you're bound to say some silly s%@t in order to square the circle. Either that or he simply needs some fresh blood to keep on ticking.