On Wednesday evening, David Stern attended ESPN reporter Jim Rome’s radio show via phone and it wasn’t the smoothest interview that went down.
“I know that you appreciate a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, was the fix in for the lottery?” asked Rome, who hosts a daily show on CBS Sports Network.
“I have two answers for that,” Stern said. “The simple easy one, no; the second, a statement, shame on you for asking.”
Stern’s not finished regulating yet though, as he goes in for a jab right to Rome’s personal life.
Rome went on to say that he thought it was his job to ask because people wonder.
“No, it’s ridiculous, but that’s OK,” Stern said.
Rome, who used to host the show “Jim Rome Is Burning” on ESPN, said he didn’t think the question was ridiculous.
Stern responded: “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”
Now the radio show didn’t end there, as there was also this funny, sort of childish exchange of the two.
Rome responded: “I don’t think that’s fair.”
After a little more back and forth, Rome said he hoped Stern wouldn’t hold the question against him.
“I wouldn’t hold it against you,” Stern said. “You and I have been in more contentious talks than that. But it’s good copy. You do these things for cheap thrills.”
Rome took offense to that statement, and Stern changed his characterization.
“Cheap trick,” he said. “You’ve been successful in making a career of it, and I keep coming on.”
That prompted a flurry of exchanges:
Rome: “Making a career of it? Making a career of what? What? Cheap thrills?”
Stern: “Now you’re getting mad. You’re taking on the world and now Jim Rome is pouting.”
Rome: “I’m not pouting. I’m taking offense.”
Stern: “You want to hang up on me?”
Rome: “No, I’m seriously running out of time.”
Stern: “Listen, I gotta go call somebody important like Stephen A. Smith back. He’s next.”
Rome: “OK, you go make that call and I’ll go talk to somebody else, too, I guess. Have a nice day. I did not hang up on him, we are officially out of time.”
Was that the NBA’s commissioner talking to a professional sports reporter or two elementary school kids mad at each other. First Rome asked if they’re still friends, Stern says yes and slips up and actually says something that would make any passionate reporter upset. Then we got Stern calling Rome a crybaby and it ends with a little back and forth “I’m gonna hang up”, “no, I’m gonna hang up”.
I’ve always been someone who doesn’t speculate at all whether the NBA Draft Lottery is fixed, but after Stern got so defensive when the question was brought up, almost like he had something to protect, I can’t say I know it isn’t rigged. Stern is getting old though, let me point that out. He’s 69 years old and said after the lockout that he’ll retire whenever he wants. He could retire the day before the Draft leaving a bunch of empty hands with no commish to shake them.
“Do you still beat your wife?” LMAO Last thing I thought I would ever hear the commissioner say. Before of course, “You mad bro?” which would be hilarious and the classic “That’s what she said” would be great if timed perfectly.