OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- More than 18,000 fans packed the Ford Center for the Thunder's playoff debut and supported the home team with ear splitting noise that reached 109 decibels. Yes, playoff basketball is a success in Oklahoma City. And there could be more of it, as the Thunder climbed back into their first round series with a gritty 101-96 win Thursday.
"I wish I had it to do all over again, and starting 20 years ago, I'd be suspending
"What that does is erode fan confidence, and then we get some of the situations that we have. So, our coaches should be quiet because this is a good business that makes them good livings and supports a lot of families, and if they don't like, they should go get a job someplace else."
Stern singled out Jackson and Orlando coach
"It's corrosive," Stern said. "It's corrosive, and because of the pressure cooker that is the NBA playoffs, over the years I've let it go, but when you hear a Chicago coach say, 'Oh, they're doing it because' or, 'This game was lost because NBC wants an extra game,' and you hear a New York coach say, 'Well, what are you going to do? [
Stern finished his diatribe with a warning that if the attacks don't stop, the punishments could become more severe.
"If someone wants to try me in the rest of these playoffs, you know, make my day because the game is too important and I don't think that the people who trash it are respecting it and we'll do what we have to do -- to players and coaches alike. If I had to do it again, I would stop it and the price wouldn't be a modest $35,000 fine. It would be whatever a day's pay is and then two days pay and then a week's pay."