Bryant Gumbel Discusses David Stern On HBO – Harsh words. Gumbel has a few things to say about NBA commissioner Stern in Tuesday night’s episode of HBO’s “Real Sports,” and it wasn’t pleasant. Bryant said that David evokes imagery of slavery in describing his treatment of pro-basketball players.
During his at the close of the show, the Emmy-winning host said the commissioner appeared to want the image of “some kind of modern plantation overseer” and he treats the players like they were “his boys” and “hired hands.”
“Stern’s version of what has been going on behind closed doors has of course been disputed, but his efforts were typical of a commissioner who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys. It’s part of Stern’s M.O., like his past self-serving edicts on dress code and the questioning of officials. His moves were intended to do little more than show how he’s the one keeping the hired hands in their place.”
Gumbel, who has made headlines with racially charged comments in the past, acknowledged during the rant that his comments would get some negative attention — he also acknowledged that he didn’t care.
“Some will of course cringe at that characterization but Stern’s disdain for the players is as palpable and pathetic as his motives are transparent,” Gumbel said.
Back in 2006, Gumbel referred to then NFL Players Assn. executive director Gene Upshaw as then league commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s “personal pet.”