Jewish World Review Jan. 31, 2003 / 28 Shavat, 5763

Evan Weiner

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Consumer Reports

Gaming and games | Have the principles and ethics that were the pillars of David Stern's NBA been replaced by just the pursuit of money?

NBA commissioner David Stern has been on the front lines in fighting sports lotteries in Oregon and New Jersey and even threatened to revoke expansion franchises in both Toronto and Vancouver in the mid-1990s because Ontario and British Columbia had sports lotteries which featured NBA games.

But something has happened in the past few years that has changed stern's stance.

The financially struggling Women's National Basketball Association has approved the shift of its Miami franchise to the Mohegan Sun casino in eastern Connecticut. Stern has now done a complete about face, allowing a franchise to compete in a casino, one that does not have a sports book.

To be fair, in the 1980s, the Utah Jazz played a portion of its schedule in Las Vegas and the NBA has held pre-season games at the Mohegan casino. It does seem, however, that the very principled stand Stern took in the 1990s against sports lotteries has been forgotten as the WNBA sets up shop in a casino.

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JWR contributor Evan Weiner is a radio commentator on "The Business of Sports" for Westwood One's Metro Networks. Comment on this column by clicking here.


01/30/03: The NHL's game plan
01/29/03: The moral guardians of basketball need some schooling themselves
01/24/03: America's excuse for a party
01/22/03: Turning San Diego into an armed camp
01/22/03: Will San Diego lose on Sunday --- even if it wins?

© 2003, Evan Weiner