Stern blocks bounty, Brees questions at Benson press conference


NBA Commissioner David Stern used to be a lawyer.  On Monday, he dusted off a common tactic utilized at depositions.

Stern instructed the witness not to answer a question.

At a press conference regarding the purchase of the New Orleans Hornets by New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, ESPN’s Ed Werder tried to ask about the football team’s bounty situation and its contractual contractual stalemate with quarterback Drew Brees.

I’m not going to allow Mr. Benson to answer that,” Stern said.  (There’s no word on whether Stern then wagged his finger Mutumbo style while saying, “I’m in your head, Werder.”)

Stern justified playing defense for Benson by explaining that the press conference had nothing to do with his football team.  “This is an NBA thing,” Stern said. “And if ESPN has a problem with that, they can call me at the office.”

Benson did talk about his ability to operate two franchises, and the first order of business seems to be finding a new name for one of them.

“I like would all of you to help me with this, too,” Benson said. “We want to change the name from the Hornets to something that means New Orleans or Louisiana.  You know, the Hornets don’t mean anything.”

Feel free to make some suggestions in the comments.