Knicks

Jim Rome, NBA’s Stern Trade Barbs; Lottery ‘Fix’ Debate Results In Rhetorical Wife-Beating Bomb

David Stern (credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images), Jim Rome (credit: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

David Stern (credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images), Jim Rome (credit: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Jim Rome said he thought he was asking a “softball question” about the NBA draft lottery that led Commissioner David Stern to ask the radio host if he had stopped beating his wife.

“Was the fix in for the lottery?” Rome asked during a contentious radio interview Wednesday. The New Orleans Hornets, recently sold by the league to Saints owner Tom Benson, won the No. 1 pick.

“I have two answers for that,” said Stern. “No, and a statement: shame on you for asking.”

After some debate over the legitimacy of the question, Stern said: “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

“Yeah, I don’t know that that’s fair,” Rome, who has no history of domestic abuse, responded.

LISTEN: Mike Francesa’s less chippy interview with Stern

Rome said later Wednesday on his CBS Sports Network television show that he didn’t take great offense, calling Stern’s phrase a “rhetorical device” that some fans may not understand but he did.

Rome also defended his question, saying he doesn’t believe the lottery is fixed but that it was fair to ask.

“What it is is a classic unanswerable question, same as the one the Commissioner was asked,” an NBA spokesman told USA Today.

Do you take offense to Stern’s response? How about to Rome’s question? Be heard in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)