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The commissioner recently got snooty with a reporter for the 2,198th time in his tenure. The conversation was, in essence, the reporter wondering if the league might allow some time off to players like Dwyane Wade this pre-season. Wade, the reporter pointed out, will have just traveled a long way to and from the Olympics, and then would be asked to travel a long way to a pre-season game overseas.
Click that link and listen. Commissioner Stern got on the highest horse in the barn and acted 1,800 kinds of annoyed at the reporter for spreading misinformation about how far away Europe was and being "so American."
"You mean flying from Miami to Paris instead of flying from Miami to Portland? ... It's actually closer. That's something that, since 1990, I have been trying to overcome. I think I succeeded in doing it in the league. Now I have to do it in the media."
Flying over water, he said, did not make it any further than flying over land. That point, in the eyes of some, won the moment.
Look, I love Europe. I have been there many times and have family there. I hope to take my kids there this summer. The commissioner doesn't need to sell me on Europe. I'm glad teams are going there.
But Mr. Commissioner, if you must be haughty in selling the locale of your latest business venture, please at least be accurate.
Point #1: In the pre-season, most teams keep their travel pretty regional. If the Heat weren't playing in Europe, they would not likely be playing in Portland. If past years are any guide, they would be playing in places like Orlando and Charlotte, which are a lot closer than Paris.
Point #2: Closer? From Miami to Paris is 4,579 miles. From Miami to Portland is 2,704 miles. That's an 1,875 mile difference -- which is about the distance from where Stern works in New York to some beach in the Caribbean, where Stern apparently was in his mind as he spoke.