"David Stern hates the Celtics" - Myth or reality?

Christian Petersen

We know what Red Auerbach might say on this subject.

SBNation is doing a themed day centered around outgoing commissioner David Stern. Here is our entry.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard the phrase "David Stern hates the Celtics." Granted, every time I've heard that it was from a Celtics fan who was upset about something that the league said or did.

Personally I've never been much of one for conspiracy theories. I generally trust people in the NBA front offices to do what's in the best interest of basketball. In fact, it seems to me that if anything there would be an inherent incentive to help one of the league's most storied franchises in one of the largest markets. Especially when the Celtics were so critical to the league's turnaround and rise in popularity in the 80's.

With that said, there's certainly a history that the team has had with the outgoing commissioner. Rich Levine does an excellent job cataloging several incidents at the below link. The one that bothers me the most is this one.

Farewell, Stern: History of the commish vs. Celts | Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com

As everyone knows, Stern and the NBA infamously refused to provide the Celtics with cap relief after the death of Reggie Lewis. That decision stunted Boston’s growth in the following years and no doubt contributed to team falling into the abyss. To make matters worse, the season after the decision on Lewis, the league passed a new rule saying that if another situation like that ever arises, a team gets half of that player's salary taken off the cap. The Celtics were obviously furious with Stern and the league, and that fury boiled over in March of 1995, when the commissioner attended Reggie Lewis Night at the Garden.

Red apparently confronted Stern in the way that only Red can and you can only imagine how that went down. Levine makes the point that the other owners are more directly to blame, but I agree that Stern could have exercised his influence to do the right thing in this situation and simply didn't for whatever reason.

So did Stern actually have a personal dislike for the Boston Celtics and did it spill over into his dealings with the team? I guess we won't know unless Stern comes clean years from now. Considering that he's a guy that "knows were the bodies are buried" i wouldn't exactly hold my breath.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join CelticsBlog

You must be a member of CelticsBlog to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at CelticsBlog. You should read them.

Join CelticsBlog

You must be a member of CelticsBlog to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at CelticsBlog. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker