Nice To See You: David Stern Booed By Prudential Center Crowd Throughout NBA Draft
NBA Commissioner David Stern was “booed lustily” when he took the stage during Thursday night’s NBA Draft by a “relentless crowd” at the Prudential Center, according to Ben Glicksman of SI.com. Stern in announcing the Wizards' selection of Bradley Beal with the third overall pick walked "back on stage -- to another cascade of boos.” Later in the evening he walked "back onto the stage to another outpouring of boos” (SI.com, 6/29). Stern opened the draft by saying, “Ohhh! Thank you for that warm welcome and good evening.” Stern made his opening remarks as the fans kept booing and when he noted that the Heat won the NBA championship this season, the fans booed even louder. The commissioner at one point cupped his hand to his ear, seemingly encouraging more boos ("NBA Draft," ESPN, 6/28). SPORTING NEWS' Sean Devaney wrote Stern has "gotten to be a pretty good sport about the booing he takes on draft night," but the "jeering was especially raucous on Thursday." Stern at one point walked to press row and said, “You know it’s bad if I have to come down and talk to the media to not get booed” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 6/28). Toward the end of the first round, CBS Sports' Seth Davis on his Twitter feed wrote, "The only people left are the ones who want to boo David Stern." FS Ohio's Pat McManamon wrote, "Fans continue to boo David Stern as he arrives to announce the 20th pick. Gotta love their staying power." FoxSports.com's Dan Wolken wrote, "'Do you still boo your wife?' - What David Stern should have said."
PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN: In N.Y., Fred Kerber notes in addition to the “constant booing of Stern, a loud moment came in the second round when Florida State forward Bernard James ... was picked 33d by Cleveland." James served three tours with the Air Force, and the crowd "chanted, ‘USA, USA’ with overwhelming approval” (N.Y. POST, 6/29). ESPN's Rece Davis said, "This might be the best moment of the draft as Bernard James … is getting a standing ovation here in the Prudential Center. Listen to this from the crowd. What a proud moment.” After an interview with James by ESPN’s Mark Jones, Davis said, “There was a few moments ago when Bernard James was announced and the crowd started standing and chanting that if you didn’t get a chance to experience, I want you to feel it again, it will send a chill up your spine” ("NBA Draft," ESPN, 6/28).
THAT WARM, FUZZY FEELING: In Hartford, Jeff Jacobs wrote in the “middle of the NBA draft, an event built on cold cash and even colder assessments of a young man's ability and character, yes, there are warm, personal moments.” Just before the Pistons officially announced Andre Drummond as their pick, cell phones “suddenly were being picked up at the Drummond family table.” Jacobs writes, “Within seconds, Drummond was overcome with emotion. He wiped tears from his left eye. He wiped tears from his right eye.” Jacobs: “Athletes are treated like lab specimens in the days leading up to a draft. Their heights and weights are measured. So, too, is their vertical leap and wingspan. Strengths are extolled loudly. ... Leading into the draft, with talents under the microscope and millions on the table, you almost forget these young men are barely out of boyhood” (HARTFORD COURANT, 6/29).