BY HENRY ABBOTT
David Stern died. I am sad. I have read the many memories of his being kind, moral, or in love with the game. The easy praise is good today. But it misses the manner in which he was truly remarkable.
The man was an absolute wizard. Other biographies will note he was from New Jersey. To me, he was from behind a curtain in Oz. David Blaine and David Copperfield (so many Davids!) can kiss Stern’s ass. The magic trick of the century was that a socially odd, five-nine lawyer from Teaneck rearranged every goddamned star in the basketball universe so that only Michael Jordan could rival Stern as the defining character of National Basketball Association history.
How in the hell did he do that? With brilliance, hard work, vision, and, crucially: ruthlessness. I am sad that he died because he was a human. And he was this complicated character, who meant a lot. However, I’m also sad because his death is proving to be one more occasion to reload the NBA’s howitzers of high-velocity…
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