David Stern is on his way out, so we as SB Nation NBA team sites are each posting a thing about his legacy. As a basketball fan, I don't particularly like David Stern. My dislike is token. I am neither smart nor patient enough to grasp Stern's virtues as a diplomat and businessman. I just know I don't like the age limit and the way Stern has enabled some owners, whether it was doing too little to prevent either of the two lockouts, toying with fans in a couple cities, or just allowing some shitty people to operate teams. These are poorly informed opinions.
As a Knicks fan specifically, I don't have as strong a feeling about Stern, which seems odd. The Knicks are supposed to be one of his most important teams, and they had a lot of success and a lot of turmoil during his reign, but he just didn't feel like that big an influence during my life as a Knicks fan. I'm too young for the frozen envelope. When I think of Stern, I think of him disparaging the Knicks during the sexual harassment trial, pulling strings to get Donnie Walsh in the front office, and fining the organization over the Rodney Heard stuff. But mostly the lockouts. Anyway, as an exercise in remembering Stern's influence, I've gone back to find every legitimate mention of David Stern in a P&T article. This captures only like a a fifth of his legacy, but it's something:
7/18/07: Stephon Marbury mentions Stern in a bizarre blog post, heavily quoted (with formatting that no longer holds up) here.
9/16/07: We (I) discussed rumors that the sexual harassment case could get Isiah Thomas-- or even James Dolan himself!-- punted out of the Garden by Stern.
1/15/08: Apparently Stern went on Boomer Esiason's MSG talk show one time.
7/24/08: Discussing the possibility of having an All-Star game at the Garden once the renovations were done in 2012. Stern said it was a "very live possibility"...
3/14/09: Stern never heard my idle mid-recap cries for letting referees play advantage on open-court fouls.
2/11/10: Stern announces that David Lee will replace the injured Allen Iverson on the Eastern Conference All-Star team.
4/23/10: Once again discussing the possibility of an All-Star game at the Garden once renovations finished, which was still supposed to happen by the '11-'12 season. Hold your horses, everyone.
10/26/10: Woj breaks the news that Rodney Heard had been running secret, illegal draft workouts. The league would eventually fine Heard and the Knicks, and the Knicks would eventually fire Heard after demoting him in the immediate wake of the report.
6/3/11: Donnie Walsh leaves. I mentioned Stern in a section hoping that Isiah wouldn't end up running the Knicks again. Never before that re: Walsh.
6/26/11: Osborn on the Iman Shumpert draft selection is fun, even if it only mentions Stern in passing.
5/13/12: A link about David Stern asking the Knicks and Nets not to be so mean to each other.
6/13/12: Stern was confident the players' union (and, by proxy, the Knicks) wouldn't win the arbitration hearing for the Bird rights to Steve Novak and Jeremy Lin. They did, not like it mattered.
6/29/12: Osborn reporting from the 2012 Draft: also tangential, also great.
9/8/12: Stern's name always seems to come up when Isiah's name comes up.
2/15/13: Joe needles Stern on the obvious conspiracy to keep Pablo Prigioni out of the Rising Stars Challenge. A year later, this hold sup anew.
6/30/13: And here's Paul Chillsap on the Tim Hardaway Jr. selection.
9/16/13: Stern's name comes up here, so here's this.
9/28/13: Reactions to the Glen Grunwald firing and Steve Mills hiring, including Stern's.
10/11/13: Just a reminder that Joe was VIOLENTLY against that Tim Hardaway selection.
So, what was David Stern to P&T? Well, we came crying to him every time the Knicks flirted with Isiah, we fully understood that he's the one who announced the draft picks, and we didn't especially care (or didn't fully understand until later) when his decisions affected New York's front office.
That's the overall, questionably hashed out P&T sentiment. What about you? What was David Stern to you as a Knicks fan?