Does Stern have a few minutes for hockey, too?
Arenas and Jarvaris Crittendon, also gone for the season for stupidly bringing guns into the locker room, are suspended without pay and Arenas could be out something like $12 million in salary. He also is facing sentencing after pleading guilty to a criminal charge. He knew he was in the wringer and he apparently does not plan to appeal.
The thing here is this: Any chance Stern has some spare time to administer some hockey discipline?
He doesn’t mess around. He has an image of his league and even if it is one that not everyone shares, there are clear, no-nonsense rules in place and he enforces them decisively. Compare that to hockey, where head hits are spinning out of control, the NHL pretends they don’t really exist and junior players get the kind of suspensions that don’t seem to act as a deterrent because no sooner does the hubbub from one near-decapitation die down than another one takes place.
Well, seeing as what this is going to cost Arenas – and you can bet the Wizards will be trying to wipe out the remainder of Arenas’s $110 million contract – do you think any NBA player will ever be stupid enough to try this kind of stunt again?
Unlike hockey, where the participants in the game tend to rally in support of the perpetrator of on-ice crime, rather than the victim, this punishment acts as exactly what it is supposed to be: A deterrent to dumb things.
The talk today is of Andre Dawson going in to the Hall of Fame in a Montreal Expos cap, rather than a Chicago Cubs beanie, as he supposedly had wanted. Those of us with a soft spot for the Expos applaud the call, since he’ll certainly be remembered here far more as an Expo than as a Cub.
The Hall of Fame makes the final call, rather than leave it up to the player, and you can thank Wade Boggs for that one. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays wanted to “buy’’ a Devil Rays cap on Boggs by paying him a lot of money to select the Rays lid and rather than seeing any player auction off his forehead, the Hall stepped in and gave itself the final say on these matters. Good for them, too. They’ll try to do the right thing.