Photo: NBC Sports
Last night, on “Costas Tonight,” both NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NBA commissioner David Stern sat down with Bob Costas. And at one point, Costas brought up the criticism the commissioners are subjected to, specifically mentioning a hateful comment made by Bryant Gumbel.Back in October, during the NBA lockout, Gumbel closed an episode of HBO’s “Real Sports” by saying Stern “has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer treating NBA men as if they were his boys,” and that Stern wants to “show how he’s the one keeping the hired hands in their place.”
But before Stern had a chance to give his thoughts on the comment, Bettman, who is a protégé of Stern’s, interjected with a very strong rebuke of Gumbel.
Let me answer that first, because I worked with David for 12 years. That is probably the most ignorant, stupid statement I have ever heard. OK. Anybody that knows David knows that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Stern, as he typically does, took the high road (although he did suggest that Gumbel’s comments were motivated by ratings). But it is clear from Bettman’s comments that those close to Stern are not as forgiving.
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