Now that the Hernia staff's heartstrings have been tugged by the wonderful story of the Boston Celtics being relevant again, we want to give Commissioner David Stern a gigantic high five for nudging this deal along to take the heat off of the Tim Donaghy case.
Suddenly every NBA story revolves around one or two squeaky clean NBA superstars getting a chance at redemption. Ah yes, we're all warm and fuzzy inside now that Donaghy's 'Matt Maloney-Jay Fiedler' looking grill has been sent to the back page... for now.
Here's a look at some of Stern's crafty criticism dodging steps he's taken for high profile incidents in the past.
Barkley spits on fan at the Meadowlands
-- Stern tries to convince media that spitting on someone was a form of respect among teenagers at the time, and that Barkley was simply trying to connect with the NBA's most important demographic.
Magic Johnson and HIV
-- Stern forces Magic to do the worst talk show ever. Also forces Magic to coach the Lakers. Surprisingly, Magic volunteers for the awful 3-Ball competition at the All-Star game.
Barkley throws a fan through a giant plate glass window inside a Milwaukee bar (fan lands outside bar)
-- In a brave attempt to repair his image, Stern single-handedly brings Barkley and Barney the dinosaur together on Saturday Night Live. However, the plan backfires when Barkley savagely punches out the high-pitched purple dinosaur.
Vernon Maxwell runs into the stands and punches a fan in Portland
-- Tries to pass rule where all regular-season games would include Halftime Hugs, in which players go into the stands to hug the crowd.
Michael Jordan's gambling habit
-- Makes Jordan fake retire (actually worked for a few years).
Jayson Williams shoots limo driver
-- Smugly tries to downplay the events by saying, "Jayson only had one or two good years anyway and he's playing in a market with little to no fan base."
Iverson pistol whips his wife and then throws her outside of their house onto the front lawn naked
-- Stern: "Well, Allen was not naked in this incident and he whipped her with an actual pistol, which is better than the alternative."
Auburn Hills melee between Pacers and Pistons
-- Tries to coax the Pacers to trade Stephen Jackson for the Dalai Lama.
Gambling rumors among players
-- Tries to change 2006 All-Star game location to Dollyland instead of Vegas.