David Stern Is For the People

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↵Anyone who thinks Stern has lost a step, gotten clumsy about ↵rigging the league or sold out to Republicans and the Chinese just ↵doesn't get it. Well, they sort of get it. He makes a point of trying ↵to reach every plausible demographic, even the ones that require ↵something of a stretch, and even when that means seemingly ignoring ↵the league's base. ↵
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↵At the same time, he's never seemed interested in just banking the ↵future on China or small red state markets like OKC. Nor is he dumb ↵enough to not have recently ↵told Seattle they could have a team some time soon. The dress ↵code and zero tolerance? Those have now been transformed by time into ↵far less draconian policies. And now, here we get the very staged ↵appearance of Stern in an African-American barbershop, communing with ↵the fans that he could easily afford to take for granted, and never ↵attempting to moralize, invalidate their opinions or otherwise ↵dismiss them. He even jokes about Finals conspiracies. ↵
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↵Stern isn't just the consummate moderate. He actually has a lot in ↵common with a certain (currently embattled) American political force, ↵who speaks to all while subtly tailoring his message toward his ↵audience. Obama may like to talk about his play on the court, but in ↵fact, his greatest relevance toward the game might be as a model for ↵how to sell it around the world.
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↵For more NBA coverage, visit SportingNews.com's new NBA blog, The Baseline.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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