Hell of a day for David Stern analogies. You heard about Bryant Gumbel’s scathing criticism on last night’s Real Sports, and now from free-agent-to-be Shannon Brown comes a comparison from an entirely different angle – and somewhat less cutting, though still unflattering for the commish. Brown, like many others, has had just about enough of Stern’s PR spin he’s using to try to dominate lockout conversation and make the other side out to be the bad guys. And he had an interesting way of describing it:
“People can tell you anything. It’s like a guy who wants to get next to a chick. He’s going to tell her anything he wants just to get next to her. Just like the audience and the fans are being told anything (by the owners’ side) just to keep them from going super crazy about what’s really going on behind the scenes.”
We like it. It could apply to virtually any situation involving different sides trying to win hearts and minds, and that’s certainly what’s happening with the lockout. And in the view of Pro Basketball Talk’s Kurt Helin (among many others), Stern’s slick talking is working wonders. Helin goes so far as to say the players “can’t win” against Stern and the owners because no matter what happens, they’ll “be in the 1 percent, not the 99 percent.”
Too bad – it’s true that players make a ton of money and will continue to make a ton of money, but next to the owners? They’ve got nothing. The idea of the owners crying poverty is even more ridiculous than the players doing so, but it just doesn’t resonate like the idea of those damn players, making millions to play a game. A whole lot fewer people fantasize about being an owner than a player, we’d reckon – and Stern knows what to do with that knowledge.
Now, to something much more important. Helin noted that the comparison of Stern’s rhetoric to trying to pick up a girl raises “an interesting thought experiment: Could David Stern pick up a girl at a bar?” Helin then decided he didn’t want to think about it – that’s where we come in. And we say: yes. Stern is a rich and powerful man. You don’t get to be that way without ample schmoozing skill, or exuding confidence. Both qualities would serve Stern well, and hey, if Chris Berman can (allegedly) become a bar pick-up legend, we’re thinking Stern has it in him, too.
Getty photo (by Patrick McDermott)