Jim Rome had a feisty interview with David Stern today, and Stern came off looking a bit defensive. Rome didn’t shy away from the question everyone has been thinking ever since the draft lottery went in the NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets’ favor.
“I know that you appreciate a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, was the fix in for the lottery?” asked Rome, who hosts a daily show on CBS Sports Network.
“I have two answers for that,” Stern said. “The simple easy one, no; the second, a statement, shame on you for asking.”
Jim Rome is not my favorite interviewer to say the least, but to ask that question to David Stern is not something Stern should have been surprised by. The NBA currently owns the New Orleans Hornets, and it could not help but look suspicious when the Hornets won the draft lottery with only the 4th best chance to land the #1 pick.
Yet after Rome tried to explain that to the commissioner, he agrresively rebounded by asking Rome, “Are you still beating your wife?”
Rome responded: “I don’t think that’s fair.”
Rome has no history of this, and though Stern was using it as a rhetorical device to compare a Draft Lottery rigging question to a domestic violence situation is unfair and overly aggressive
The interview ended in a similarly catty manner too with the rest of the dialogue below:
“I wouldn’t hold it against you,” Stern said. “You and I have been in more contentious talks than that. But it’s good copy. You do these things for cheap thrills.”
Rome took offense to that statement, and Stern changed his characterization.
“Cheap trick,” he said. “You’ve been successful in making a career of it, and I keep coming on.”
That started a feisty exchange:
Rome: “Making a career of it? Making a career of what? What? Cheap thrills?”
Stern: “Now you’re getting mad. You’re taking on the world and now Jim Rome is pouting.”
Rome: “I’m not pouting. I’m taking offense.”
Stern: “You want to hang up on me?”
Rome: “No, I’m seriously running out of time.”
Stern: “Listen, I gotta go call somebody important like Stephen A. Smith back. He’s next.”
Rome: “OK, you go make that call and I’ll go talk to somebody else, too, I guess. Have a nice day. I did not hang up on him, we are officially out of time.”
We shouldn’t expect too many friendly interviews in the future between these two. Stern was right about one thing even if he looked like a defensive fool; it did make good copy.