David Stern simply wanted to make more money. If Donaghy’s rhetoric is true, then the Commish has made his own bed….and should sleep in it, as he has potentially over-stepped his bounds in an unfathomable manner.
Stern has done a ton to promote basketball, and not just the NBA: Globalization of the sport, subsidizing the WNBA, the dress code, NBA Cares program, a tightly kempt Wikipedia profile. I still maintain that Stern is the best commissioner in sports, but if the turd hits the fan, will he continue his 20-year-plus year reign at the helm?
Gotta have money to make money, right? To get that capital for expansion, you need ad revenue. To get ad revenue, you need ratings. To get ratings, you need the involvement of the major media markets. But is this necessarily true? Sure Stern’s heart may have been in the right place, but did he have the wrong fix?
Want ratings? Instead of promoting big markets and star players, how about fixing all games to eliminate blowouts? It sounds exciting. Seems like people would catch on and want to watch regardless of the match-ups…..especially if this “phenomenon” led to more seven game series in the playoffs.
I’m no ratings expert, so my argument could lose weight with scientific research. But if Stern reached the moral low where he felt it necessary to manipulate games, wouldn’t fixing close games be the less risky route?
Think about it, would there be as much outrage and skepticism if fans got “cheated” by more nail-biting contests instead?