By Eric Neel
Page 2

Sometimes I wonder, what if ...

What if Mark Cuban ran the NBA?

Would teams play shirts and skins, with no officials at all? Would there be free Dairy Queen for the first 10,000 fans at every game? Would owners be fined exorbitant amounts of money for saying just the right thing at just the right time and place? Would Jeff Van Gundy be required to wear jersey-style T's on the sideline?

Or better yet, what if, instead of Cuban, it was David Stern who wrote a blog?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Fashion faux pas

Saw Dennis Rodman outside the Palace at Auburn Hills before the game today.

He looked good in a gold lamé tank and black leather mini, but his white go-go boots were completely inappropriate. Everyone knows you can't wear white shoes until after Memorial Day. There are rules, after all, and if we go about flouting them, making individual choices all willy-nilly, we risk the breakdown of the very fabric of our game. I think Dennis knows that. I expect to see him in black patents next time.

David Stern
AP Photo
The commissioner's got lots of thoughts he'd like to share with the public.

A commissioner's prerogative

I almost let Ron Artest back in today.

Yeah, right.

The Age of Innocence

Speaking of the Pacers, let me just say I respect Jermaine O'Neal's opinion on the minimum age question. I truly do. And I admire his willingness to share his ideas and enter the debate. However, I think he may be missing the bigger picture here.

It's not that the quality of play suffers when too many young, unpolished players enter the league, it's not that we're trying to protect the rights of older players, and it's not even that we're trying to keep Dick Vitale from throwing himself off a bridge in despair over the state of today's depleted college game.

It's just that we want kids to go to the freshman dance, and rush a house, and experience the color and pageantry of a college campus, the camaraderie of a college community. And while they're strolling across that campus, basking in the charm of it all, we want them never to forget that we hold the power, pure and simple, and we want them to always remember that the first rule of growing up in basketball is: Thou shalt not question The Man.

Why can't we all be more like Grant Hill?

I miss him. Don't you miss him?

Damn that Steve Francis and his ball hogging. Damn that ankle swelling.

I wonder what Hill's doing right now.

Saving a kitten from a tree, perhaps, or maybe reading aloud from Shakespeare's sonnets again.

"My two guard's eyes are nothing like the sun ... "

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
My top five all-time commissioners:

5. Kenesaw Mountain Landis: A bit soft for my taste, but his heart was in the right place.

4. Commissioner Gordon: Totally under-appreciated. He carried Batman in the later years.

3. Pete Rozelle: The modern-day prototype. His hair was perfect.

2. Springfield sanitation commissioner Ray Patterson: I know some people were charmed by Homer Simpson's wild campaign promises, but like Bono, I always identified with Patterson's more measured, realistic approach to the everyday trash collection problems facing the residents of Springfield.

1. Bud Selig: The tie All-Star Game thing made me look like a stone-cold genius by comparison. I'll always love him for that night.

Bud seriously, folks ...

That three-strikes-and-you're-out rule, that's good stuff.

Has me thinking ... how do you like the sound of "Oh-for-three"?

Dreamweaver

I thought about letting Artest back in today.

And then he woke up.

I crack myself up, I really do.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

LeBron James
AP Photo
LeBron, to the Knicks? That would never happen, would it?

Environmental impact report

While our official position is that we have no position, early polling conducted by Stu Jackson's office indicates that No. 23 Knicks jerseys would outsell No. 2 Derek Jeter jerseys, as well as pre-ordered copies of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," by nearly 3 to 1.

Though again, I should stress, the league has no position on the moving, or the not moving, or the potential moving, of any or all members of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

And furthermore, let the record show:

The league has no specific knowledge of any silky, nightgown-style No. 23 Knicks jerseys that may or may not have found their way into Jeanie Buss' lingerie drawer.

Friday, April 29, 2005
Wanna have some fun?

Go to Cuban's blog and write "nice hair" in the comments section of every post.

I have to confess, I've always wished someone would say:

"And with the first selection in the 2005 NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks select ... David Stern from Rutgers University."

I'm a huge Spud Webb fan. Though again, I should say, the league has no specific knowledge of any silky, nightgown-style No. 4 Hawks jerseys that may or may not have found their way into the lingerie drawer of Mrs. Dianne Bock Stern.

Saturday, April 30, 2005
Memo

To: Arena DJs
From: David J. Stern

Less Black Eyed Peas. More Sinatra.

Note to self

Sliding-scale fines for tattoos and body art, from "I Love Mom" on one shoulder ($5,000) to the full Rasheed Wallace ($50,000). Refunds available for those who agree to submit to laser removal procedures.

Memo

To: Arena DJs
From: David J. Stern

Less Usher. More Manilow.

Sunday, May 1, 2005
Top Five Ways To Spend Van Gundy's $100K

5. Donate to charity

4. Moving expenses for LeBron

3. New eyeglass frames for The Commish

Jeff Van Gundy
AP Photo
Think Jeff Van Gundy will like his gifts?

2. Gift to Chinese ambassador

1. Hush money to officiating crew

Monday, May 2, 2005
Top Five Parting Gift Ideas for Van Gundy

5. Film from Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals

4. Zapruder Film copy

3. "Capricorn One" DVD

2. "The Jordan Rules" by Sam Smith

1. One frozen lottery card envelope, circa 1985

Jeff will talk. We have ways of making him talk.

It's Stan we're concerned with now.

There is a Van Gundy growing on the Commissionership, and it must not be neglected or left to spread. We must chase down the Van Gundy wherever it lies, in every corner of the game, and we must eradicate it.

Like white boots before Memorial Day, it is an insidious threat. Like a certain Maverick blog, it must be shouted down.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005
Mum's the word

Don't worry ... I've got Bernard Tolbert over at NBA security working on the Yankees cap thing.

We're looking hard at Giuliani, but we're not ready to make an announcement.

Eric Neel is a columnist for Page 2.



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