New York -- Commissioner David Stern took his first step today to ensure the future prosperity of the league he governs. In a live press conference from New York City, Stern signed off on what for all intensive purposes was the death of three franchises.
"In my ongoing effort to provide more bang for your buck I have called this press conference," Stern began his speech. "I believe the events of today this will serve as a permanent testament to my awesome power and general all round greatness." Then to the slight dismay of those present the commissioner struck a double bicep pose that seemed to tax the stitching on the arms of his suit.
Stern completed the rest of his prepared statement, pausing only to hit a few more poses that showed off his lats, quads and pectoral muscles. Despite all this showboating the message was crystal clear. The NBA intended as of this today to close three franchises.
"Sometimes in life you got to take stock and look at what you have got? You got to weed out the losers to protect the morale of the rest," explained the commissioner. "It's like what I do with my own family. You see that no good nephew that drags everyone down at thanksgiving. You take him out. Remove him from the gene pool. Keep the dynasty strong!"
Sensing the apprehension in some and downright fear in others, Stern loosened his tie and tried to lighten the mood. Unfortunately, his impersonation of Kobe Bryant in a Colorado hotel room did little to quiet the growing uneasiness in the crowd. Pressed further to explain fully how he intended to unilaterally shut down the Atlanta, New Orleans and Utah franchises, Stern just motioned everyone to turn their attention to the wall of televisions behind him.
"That ladies and gentlemen is Atlanta's Philips arena," Stern began. "And here is Michael Jordan."
An image of a stealth bomber flying over the Atlanta skyline appeared on the screen.
"Uh um, I mean there is Michael Jordan flying in a stealth bomber ready to do my bidding," Stern quickly corrected himself.
Those gathered then watched in pin drop silence as the aforementioned bomber released its deadly load and reduced the home of the Atlanta Hawks to a smoking pile of rubble.
"Now that's what I call a bang!" Stern hollered as he whooped it up with other league office officials. "That's what happens if you only win 13 games a season in my league." Eventually one brave reporter raised their hand to speak only to be interrupted by a screaming Stu Jackson (NBA vice president of basketball operations).
"Negative on the napalm. I repeat stand down on the Napalm. Atlanta is already toast." Jackson then coolly replaced his cell phone and let his boss continue.
When finally pressed on how he intended to wipe out the other two doomed clubs, Stern was unusually straight to the point.
"I was able to commandeer a squadron of drunken frat boys and they are currently torching the greater New Orleans area, I'm sure they will get to the arena eventually. I couldn't give them directions because I haven't actually been to a game there. As for the Utah Jazz, I simply gave Karl Malone a gun, some camouflage gear and told him to get to work."
Stern and Jackson then concluded the press conference by inviting any interested parties to a dice game out in the back lot.