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Stern: Dolan's email 'almost beneath commissioner's duties'

2/9/2015

NEW YORK -- James Dolan’s angry email to a disgruntled fan is “a nothing” by David Stern’s standards of controversies.

Stern backed NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s decision not to discipline the Knicks owner for telling off Knicks fan Irving Bierman, who was critical of Dolan’s management of the team. Dolan suggested that Bierman’s negative attitude has made Bierman’s family “miserable. Alcoholic maybe.” And Dolan also told Bierman he should "start rooting for the Nets because the Knicks don’t want you."

Speaking at the 14th annual Cal Ramsey Distinguished Lecturer Series in Sports Management at New York University, Stern was asked what he would have done with Dolan if he were still commissioner.

“Would I discipline James Dolan for that email?” Stern asked. “Why would I do that?”

“We have our own brand of due process,” Stern later added. “In terms of all the things that people should be held accountable for … if you are looking for every email that gets sent to a fan who sends a nasty email, I’m sorry … that’s almost beneath the commissioner’s duties.”

Stern, who retired after three decades last February and has been staying busy as the CEO of DJS Global Advisors, said Dolan’s email isn’t even a blip on the radar when it comes to serious concerns the NBA has had to deal with over the years.

“That’s a nothing,” Stern said. “There have been some serious issues in our time from Magic (Johnson’s HIV) to Ron Artest to you name it, we’ve dealt with it. This doesn’t raise … this is just New York at its best, which is let’s make something out of nothing.”