A mea-culpa is in order for having wondered once if the NBA could ever go back to Vancouver.
That said, anyone who really follow hoops knows what David Stern said to Bill Simmons said about regretting that it didn't work out in Vancouver is far from "a surprising, Canadian admission," as Posted Sports called it this afternoon. The hilarious part is that The Sports Guy didn't see the answer coming, but that happens when you have crawled up your own arse.
That, to channel the hyperkinetic history prof that the late Sam Kinison played in Back To School, plays into the popular version of what happened. Scratch a Canadian NBA fan -- and this is not a personal opinion, but one gleaned from being in that generation -- who was high school age when the Raptors and Grizzlies came into being and he might still argue it could have worked in Vancouver. Granted, some people say the Montreal Expos could have been saved (and they could have, you know, but that's just loser talk, eh).
The Grizzlies caught every bad break possible during their six-year run -- you know the whole litany with Bryant Reeves, Stevie Franchise Killer and a 63-cent Canadian dollar. However, looking at the fact the Raptors were recently valued at more than $400 million US by Forbes magazine, you can only wonder what could have been in Vancouver.
There's a fat chance of hearing that in the major media in Canada, though. The NBA has been in Toronto for 15 years and already there's chattering-class Chicken Littles talking about Chris Bosh leaving would lead to the Raptors' demise. It's not happening; they might end up being a middle-pack team, but they won't go away.
Honestly, Stern's admission is only surprising when held up against certain other commissioners (they know who they are) who were seen as being less than remorseful when other Canadian franchises bolted for south of the border.
(The Stern interview with Simmons is priceless.)
Stern admits NBA blew it in Vancouver (Noah Love, Posted Sports)