DALLAS – NBA Commissioner David Stern opened his lockout-delayed season by hearing boos from Mavericks fans.
Stern was in Dallas for the NBA finals rematch between the Mavericks and Heat, and he was on the court for the start of the Mavs’ banner-raising ceremony honoring their first championship. The jeers came as soon as he started speaking, but he quickly turned them into cheers by offering his congratulations to team owner Mark Cuban.
Cuban’s often contentious relationship with Stern could’ve been as much of a reason for the boos as the lockout, which pushed the opener from Nov. 1 to Christmas and cut the season by 16 games.
Cuban and Miami’s Micky Arison were among five owners who voted against the labor deal. Stern said “it doesn’t send any signal whatsoever” that the two owners in the most recent finals were against the agreement.
Stern said Arison only objected to the revenue sharing. He also pointed out that Cuban was part of the labor relations committee and the planning committee.
“(Cuban) might not have been enamored with the final outcome because it takes away the advantage that overspending can give you,” Stern said.
Stern also said he could have done a better job of explaining his reasons for blocking a proposed trade of Chris Paul from the league-owned Hornets to the Lakers, only to later agree to a deal that sent Paul to the Clippers. He said that he was simply looking out for the best interests of the Hornets.