David Stern is already getting restless in retirement. Just days after stepping down as commissioner of the NBA, reports suggest Stern spent his first free weekend fixing a basketball tournament played in by his 8 year-old grandson, Adam Stern.
“I’ve never seen anything like it at this level,” said Roger James, head coach of the 8-and-under Upper Saddle River (NJ) Hawks. “We were winning by 9 points with two minutes left. That’s a pretty insurmountable margin at this level. The score was 21-12. But then he rigged the finish.”
Stern was seen talking to an assistant, thought to be his other grandson Jonathan, age 13, who then whispered into the ear of the referee during a stoppage in play and handed him a wad of cash.
When play resumed, the Hawks were whistled for repeated technical fouls and little Adam’s Essex Fells Bears eventually made enough free throws to win the game.
Stern refused to comment on charges that the game was rigged with the help of officials.
“I’m just sitting here, trying to enjoy a game,” he said. “What kind of person would rig a youth basketball game? Those accusations are ridiculous and don’t deserve comment.”
The former commissioner then excused himself to speak to a young reporter for the community paper. Stern got heated and repeatedly yelled in her face. Three days later in its next edition, the weekly paper led with the headline: “David Stern’s Son Scores 55 Points in Under-8 Game.”
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