Updated: November 30, 2012, 8:39 PM ET

Punish Pop? David Stern Out Of Line

By John Hollinger
ESPN.com


If David Stern is trying to create enthusiasm for the start of the Adam Silver Era, he's off to a good start.

Stern's bizarre decision to announce the San Antonio Spurs would face as-yet-unnamed "substantial sanctions" -- calling it "unacceptable" without ever specifying why -- for sitting out four starters against Miami on Thursday night, bore all the classic tenets of bad management: reactive, inconsistent, overbearing and moving us no closer to a solution to the underlying issue.

Let's walk through it. Understandably, ticket-holders in Miami were upset they wouldn't get to see San Antonio's three All-Stars (although Southwest ticket holders in Orlando apparently were thrilled). Also understandably, so was TNT -- one of the league's national television rights holders who thought it would have a marquee game to televise.

While we ended up with a surprisingly good game -- a 105-100 Miami win decided in the final half-minute -- it's likely that some viewers turned off their sets when they saw the assorted de Colos and Josephs on the floor for San Antonio. Or that's the argument, anyway, although it breaks down when one considers the Spurs have pretty much been a form of TV-viewer repellent for several years now. (Seriously, I've probably written a hundred columns on the Spurs over the past decade, and this might be the first one that more than eight non-relatives outside the state of Texas will read.)

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Pau Gasol Against The System

By Kevin Arnovitz
ESPN.com


Last Friday in Memphis, two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol found himself banished to the bench for the entire fourth quarter. Gasol was struggling to find good looks at the basket (and wasn't successful at hitting those he found), and at the moment down the stretch when he would've normally trotted over to the scorer's table to check in for reserve Antawn Jamison, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni never called Gasol's number.

After the game, Gasol expressed his frustration, not so much with D'Antoni's decision to stick with Jamison, who was playing well on the offensive end. Gasol was disheartened by the lack of touches he was getting in the post, where he's most comfortable operating

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