YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


If ever a league needed New Year's resolutions, it's this one . . . so here are a few suggestions

Our NBA heroes took dysfunction to new levels in 2010, so they'll have their work cut out to top it in 2011. We're thinking they'll be up to the challenge.

January 01, 2011|Mark Heisler

Happy New Year?

Depends on whom you ask.

David Stern — Who could ask for more, the Heat, the Celtics, the Lakers! Glamour matchups for years and years!

Hey, what happened to my Lakers?

Phil Jackson — Well, it started with the World Cup in South Africa. . . .

Stern — Isn't that soccer?

Jackson — I told Andrew Bynum it was OK to go before he had surgery and Kobe Bryant did too, although he didn't ask.

Then we ran short of big men and our owner wouldn't get us someone because it cost $70,000 a week.

Then Pau Gasol wilted because he had to play 40 minutes a night because I wouldn't take him out.

Make a long story short, we're No. 3 in the West.

Jerry Buss — You have a $91-million payroll plus that $9 mill you make and it's not enough?

Jackson — Hey, I just donated $3 million to the cause. I hear you put $70K on the table, bluffing with deuces.

Buss — That's just it. I put $70K on the table and I didn't even have the deuces.

Dallas owner Mark Cuban — We've got your back, Commish. We have our best team since the 2006 Finals!

Stern — Isn't that the one you lost to Miami after winning Games 1-2 and leading Game 3 by 13 in the last 6:30 and I had to fine you $250,000 before you ran out and bit one of our officials in the neck?

Cuban — I've mellowed. You said so when you put me on that committee.

Stern — Actually, with collective bargaining coming, I just thought it was better to have you inside the tent spitting out rather than outside spitting in.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry — Commissioner, I'd like to point out we have another excellent team in San Antonio, not to mention the 1994 and 1995 champs from Houston!

Not only are we the cradle of basketball, if we secede, as we've mused about doing, the Rockets, Spurs and Mavericks would be international teams!

Stern — I can never forget the Spurs, who are everything we want to represent our league . . . up to the Finals since they're the black hole of TV ratings.

Gregg Popovich — I hear that all the time down here. I always tell people how fair you've been, like the time you suspended Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for that pivotal Game 5 in 2007 when the Suns were giving us all we wanted.

Stern — That wasn't me. That was Stu Jackson, our VP in charge of basketball operations and custodial services.

LeBron James — Resolutions? I don't do anything wrong. Occasionally there's something I could have done better.

Stern — I understand, Your Mealticketness, like saying you were taking your talents to South Beach?

James — What's wrong with that?

Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert — It was despicable! It was cowardly! It was personally embarrassing! You quit on me, the great and powerful Oz . . . oh, sorry . . . you quit on Cavaliers fans like you did in that Boston series!

James — So why did you offer me that $120 million?

Gilbert — I thought you'd matured in the ensuing weeks.

Billy Hunter — Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men and another CBA at current numbers.

Stern — Is there nothing you won't stoop to? We had a moratorium on negotiating in the media until after the holidays, assuming we don't lose another team or two by then to contraction.

Minnesota owner Glen Taylor — Not ours, loyal Timberwolves fans!

Sacramento owners Joe and Gavin Maloof — Not ours, loyal Kings fans!

Memphis owner Michael Heisley — Not ours, loyal Grizzlies fans, both of you.

Donald T. Sterling — As if. If he tries to contract me, I'll sue him and wind up owning the league.


James — Good thinking, commish. How about contracting that team you just bought and sending us Chris Paul?

George Shinn — In parting, I'd like to thank our fans in New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Charlotte and wherever else we were!

David just gave me $300 million, less the $299 mill I owed, but I wish I could see your faces when we finally win that title, wherever you are and the team may be.

Sterling — And, as always, I just want to win.

Mike Dunleavy — Aren't you forgetting something?

Sterling — I'm not supposed to say any more bad things about Baron Davis and Chris Kaman for stealing money from me.

Dunleavy — I mean the money you owe me.

Sterling — What money? This is the first I've heard of it! My people must be behind this! They always do things like this without telling me, the little sneaks.

Stern — You see? We have our issues, but we're a big family at the dawn of a great new day, assuming the players come to their senses and the sun rises again!

Have you heard my latest? The NBA, See Us While We Last!

Los Angeles Times Articles