David Stern on Dan Patrick's Show

May, 16, 2007
5/16/07
2:45
PM ET

ESPN Insiders can hear the whole thing here. Stern is not charming -- he has his bully hat on with Dan Patrick -- but he is not, it strikes me, wrong, either.

Some key Stern quotes:

There is no way to know if someone is running out on the court as friend or foe. When Rudy Tomjanovich was running out to see what was going on and trying to break up a fight, his face was forever changed. ...

It's not being decided by [Robert Horry]. It's being decided by two Phoenix Suns who knew about the rule, forgot about it, couldn't control themselves, and didn't have coaches who could control them. And don't you forget it. Now, is it exactly fair? Probably not. Is it a red letter rule? Absolutely. Did cost other players and teams their playoffs and championships? Yes. So, I guess there's no way for us to get the message through. Do you think next year the players will understand it?

I'm unhappy with the result. If the owners would like to change it, I'm happy to do it, believe me. I'd be very happy to do it. But to listen to the palaver that Robert Horry changed the series is just silly. What changed the series is that Amare and Boris ran out onto the court.

Stern also later added "I guess it's a shame that I have a rule that I have to enforce," although he also adds that in the decade that rule has been in effect, no owner has ever suggested a change. Finally, he does not volunteer that the rule has anything to do with the image of the league, but says that it is about making sure players don't get hurt or killed.

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