MAMBINO Does the NBA Draft: David Stern, the Victor

Taking a train over the river to beautiful downtown Newark, NJ, KOBEsh, Bockerknocker and El Miz took seats  live at the 2012 NBA Draft. Here are some of our collective draft night thoughts and observations.

With his usual, trademark half-cocked smile, Commissioner David Stern saunters to the podium for his 29th NBA Draft. The Commish steps to the microphone to the roar of the crowd. He no doubt spoke words about the excitement of the first-year player selection process and how tonight would be a night that these young men had been dreaming about their entire lives. He no doubt vetted that June 28th, 2012 is the first step in the journey of many to NBA stardom and that we here in the National Basketball Association are so very happy to be at this beautiful arena tonight. He no doubt thanked the boistrous New York crowd that had so bravely made the inconvenient trek all the way out to Newark, while the usual home of the Draft – Madison Square Garden – undergoes year two of their three-year offseason renovation plan. He finally and crisply, no doubt proclaimed that the 2012 NBA Draft is underway, and that indeed, the New Orleans Hornets were on the clock.

I wouldn’t know. The moment the Commissioner stepped to the mic, he was showered with a chorus of boos from the audience in a reception that was more befitting WWE Chairman and on-screen villain Vincent K. McMahon. Stern spoke, and kept on speaking, but barely a word crept through the wave of disdain thrown at him by the crowd. However, unlike Golden State owner Joe Lacob who shrank from the boos of the Oakland crowd on Chris Mullin Night a few months ago, or Clippers owner Donald Sterling who regularly ignores the hate at Staples Center, the Commissioner revels in the surrounding din of this Newark crowd. He hears it and welcomes it. He loves it.

Because he knows it means he won.

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