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'Notorious Windbag' Robert Sarver Stands Up To His Highness, David Stern

This a recent report about the labor discussions between the NBA owners and their serfs the players, Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski inserted a little tidbit about Phoenix Suns managing partner, Robert Sarver. It's a fun quote because let's face it, you don't often get to use, let alone read the words "notorious" and "windbag" together at the same time.

Hunter sidesteps question on pay - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Stern dominated the meeting, with most owners reduced to bystanders. As one player said, "They’re always scared to talk when we’re in the room, especially when our stars come." Still, several players could see the grimace on Stern’s face when notorious windbag Robert Sarver, the Phoenix Suns owner, started to speak.

You will note two things about this quote. First, the part about Sarver being a notorious windbag isn't actually inside the quotation marks. This means we are talking about a Wojnarowski Original Phrase (TM). Second, Sarver's crime here appears to be talking in a meeting between players and owners. OMG!!!

Sometimes it's not OK to talk in a meeting. You have to raise your hand. You have to wait your turn. You have to not dominate the air time (aka become a notorious windbag).

But without any more context, what Sarver seems to be doing here is committing the mortal sin of not treating David Stern with the appropriate amount of deference and public respect.

And just to clarify a point, David Stern is the commissioner of the NBA not the Supreme Almighty Ruler of the NBA. (The "A" in "NBA" standing for association.) Stern works for the association of franchises which are individually owned by people like Robert Sarver.

It's kind of like the relationship between the CEO of a big company -- say AIG or Enron -- and its shareholders.

There's a huge rabbit hole of a tangent here about the agency relationship problem between the executives of American corporations and their real owners (and directors) but let's not go there. Let's just remember that Robert Sarver talking in a meeting shouldn't be assumed to be a bad thing.

Banker Bob is a lot of things with many (many) Suns' sins to account for, being a "notorious windbag" doesn't fit the pattern.

Let us also not forget that it was Wojnarowski himself who shared this bit of NBA insider insight.

Big and small markets. Winning and losing franchises. Great and lousy general managers and coaches. Old and new owners. They all agree: Don't push Stern too hard because there will be a price to pay. Better off bowing, kissing the ring and shuffling past him.

So Robert, if you want my advice (and I know you do), you go right ahead and speak during these meetings.

This entire lockout is so much more about small markets versus big markets while Stern seems singularly focused on fighting the players (aka the Geese That Lay Golden Eggs).