David Stern has most certainly left his stamp on the NBA. I’ll always remember Stern’s tenure for leading the league into an era of misbehavior, players fighting in the stands with fans, some of the worst tattoos in the history of the body art, excessive amounts of flagrant fouls and, of course, a world where players finally get fined for flopping (because it wasn’t addressed 15 years ago when it should have been). And in a final “yes” to scraping some cream for his legacy, David Stern is giving the go-ahead to advertisements being added to the baselines of courts and the tops of backboards for the 2013-2014 season.
Is nothing sacred? Clearly not when you can turn a profit.
Why must all major sports in America have such divisive individuals serving as the commissioner? It’s not hard to understand the big business aspect of professional sports, but do all the major sports really have to employ a head honcho who is most easily described as a douche? Sure, that’s biased and unfair, but there’s no denying the truth in the statement. If you played a word association game with 100 fans of any given league and mentioned the names David Stern, Roger Goodell, Bud Selig and Gary Bettman, I’d bet a good percentage of the results would suggest many people snapped back with “douche.”
Now don’t mistake me as the weirdo purist who think there’s no place for branding and advertising in pro sports. OK, in fairness, I am a little bit of that guy. Obviously, advertising can be a mutual back-scratching for owners, players, fans and the companies which advertise. But putting stamps on the actual court, field of play and/or associated equipment? No thanks. Keep that crap on the arena banners, the jumbotron and signage not on the court. There’s no need to see anything on the backboard other than the shot clock and the painted box. Gotta let what’s left of the game be the game — it’s not an advertising tool.