If there is one thing that is clear after the NBA rejected the deal that would have sent Chris Paul from the NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers, it's that there are several people angry with this decision, and not just Lakers' fans. Over at Silver Screen and Roll, Dexter Fishmore absolutely eviscerated NBA commissioner David Stern for this decision:
When the league took over ownership of the Hornets David Stern emphasized that they'd be allow to operate autonomously, without interference from the league office. That's been exposed as total nonsense. He's on a short leash being yanked by owners whose teams will suck forever and therefore have no choice but to drag the smart and successful down to their level.
This is a deep stain on Stern's reign as commissioner. He got bullied by small-market owners into prolonging the lockout, and they just did it to him again. His stewardship of the sport is a bad joke. It's time for him to go.
However, as Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported, a league source said, "Not true that owners killed the deal. League office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons"
Basketball reasons? So much for letting the Hornets make moves without interference. Rohan Cruyff, the fine writer of At The Hive, noted in a series of tweets how killing this deal set a bad precedent for the NBA:
let's say no new owner. hornets can now no longer trade paul. if he walks next summer, league has screwed the hornets over massively
if he gets traded somewhere OTHER than lakers, league has screwed the lakers over massively
regardless of what happens here, the nba has put itself into a hole it simply cannot get out of
stern has just screwed over at *least* one franchise, and has cost chris paul potentially tens of millions of dollars
The bottom line is that this deal was much better than the deal that originally brought Pau Gasol to the Lakers in the first place, a trade I might add that in the long term helped the Memphis Grizzlies become a playoff contender last season.It will be interesting to see how the NBA Players Union reacts to this mess.
To discuss the Lakers and the ramifications of this non-trade, check out Silver Screen and Roll.