Stern has his faults. He's stubborn and sometimes slow to act but there's a reason why he's the best commissioner in sports and what he just did is another example why.
The NBA announced that Stern appointed former United States Army Major General Ronal L. Johnson to the new position of Senior Vice President, Referee Operations.
As many NBA sources have told me over the past few months -- pleaded really -- the NBA needed a strong head to oversee its referee operations and hiring a former Army general certainly fits the bill.
It's clear this has long been needed. NBA officiating this year, in my opinion, was among the worst I've seen in professional basketball i the some 20 years I've been around the sport. Throw in the Tim Donaghy scandal and the NBA was long overdue for something like this.
"I'm thrilled," said Mark Cuban in an e-mail to me. "This is exactly what the NBA needed."
When you read Johnson's bio you cannot help but be impressed.
But what Stern did is more than appointing someone highly qualified. It's an admission, finally, by Stern, something needed to be done about his officials.
And I don't believe Johnson will be a "yes man." I think he'll have real, significant power and say.
So thank you, Stern, for doing the right thing.