NBA commissioner David Stern lost his composure during a sports radio interview yesterday, when the host asked him for his thoughts on the never-ending allegations that the NBA Draft Lottery is fixed. From USA Today and the Times Union: “Jim Rome asked if the NBA draft lottery was fixed, given the league-owned New Orleans Hornets got the first pick. Stern first said, ‘No, shame on you for asking.’ Then, ‘Have you stopped beating your wife yet?’ The few minutes after the remark were spent debating the legitimacy of Rome’s question and the interview ended with Stern saying ‘I have to go call someone important now. Stephen A. Smith is up next.’ Asked for a comment, NBA spokesman Mike Bass late Wednesday said of Stern’s second reply, ‘What it is is a classic unanswerable question, same as the one the Commissioner was asked.’ [...] ‘I was shocked,’ Rome said. ‘I really was stunned. He and I have a long history. I’ve interviewed him dozens of times probably, on radio and TV over the years. Sometimes the interviews are a little more contentious than others, depending on the line of questioning and the mood he’s in. When I asked that question, I did not in any way expect that response. To be honest, I thought it was a softball question. It would have been an easy opportunity for him to address something that’s out there and that he would just summarily dismiss it out of hand. I had no idea he would get that upset. I was shocked by it.’ [...] ‘A lot of people don’t know that phrase, so they thought it was extremely out of line,’ said Rome, who is married with two sons. ‘I understood it, I knew where he was going with it. I thought it was inappropriate because, what it is, it’s a rhetorical device to insinuate I asked him a loaded question. I don’t think my question to him was loaded. I thought it was a very simple and very direct question.’”