Washington Nationals baseball fans are probably wondering what would have happened if David Stern was MLB commissioner last August. Stephen Strasburg most certainly would have been ordered by commissioner Stern to pitch, regardless of what the Nationals thought about his future.
It just makes you wonder.
Or, maybe Stern would order NFL teams to never rest their star players if they’re going for a 16-0 record even though they’ve locked up home field advantage for the playoffs. If an NHL team guarantees itself home ice for the playoffs, it still can’t cheat the fans of seeing their favorite player, right? So all-star goalies shouldn’t be rested for the playoffs, right Mr. Stern?
The NBA has to re-evaluate its policy of punishing teams for resting players. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was not necessarily out-of-bounds by resting forward Tim Duncan, guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili and swingman Danny Green against the Miami Heat. But yet the Spurs have been fined $250,000.
Sure, it wasn’t in the best interests of national TV, but that’s the NBA’s problem. San Antonio is coming off a tough road trip and Popovich, whose job security is determined by wins-and-losses, should get to decide how he’s using his players, not Stern.
The Detroit Pistons, two seasons ago, sat several of their star players for a game because they didn’t partake in a shoot-around and then-coach John Kuester only dressed six players for the game.
What if the Pistons were a prime-time team and these players were benched for a nationally televised game? Of course, the Pistons had a losing record at that time so Stern didn’t care what they did. Chances are, he may have interfered if Detroit was playing a game that had national interest.
The point is that Stern did something other pro league commissioners usually don’t get involved in for the most part. If Stern did nothing, it would have all played out by itself. But he did too much. Now any coach who wants to rest a number of players will have to call Stern for his approval. This sounds ridiculous but when it becomes reality, it will be tragic.