Before the emperor of the NBA leaves his Olympic Tower office, this is the holy war that those within the San Antonio Spurs' extended family expected David Stern to eventually wage on Gregg Popovich and his program's culture. The commissioner burped that terse, threatening statement promising "substantial sanctions" to the rogue state of his totalitarian nation on Thursday night. This has been a long time coming out of the commissioner's office.
And yet, once more, Stern's tossed a temper tantrum that left everyone around him embarrassed, humiliated and wondering why he insisted on staying until February of 2014. All these years, Stern and his underlings privately complained and moaned that no one wanted to watch the Spurs, that they destroyed his TV ratings, that they were uninteresting, unappealing and impossible to market to the masses.
And now, this act of condemnation for Popovich – which resulted in a $250,000 fine for San Antonio handed down by the league office Friday evening – would be bathed in the ultimate of twisted irony: Without the Spurs' stars, Stern was selling that the NBA logo had been desecrated, that a public trust had been betrayed.