The Los Angeles Lakers had a deal in place to acquire point guard Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets in a three-team trade, but that was nixed by David Stern and the NBA on Thursday. The quirk in this situation is that the NBA owns the Hornets and has such authority to block a deal that seemed to be fairly negotiated. The story took a twist Thursday night thanks to an email from Cleveland Cavaliers' owner Dan Gilbert.
Stern said the deal was nixed for "basketball reasons," but it appears that was not the case. Yahoo! Sports obtained a copy of an email from Gilbert to Stern in which the Cavs' owner called the proposed deal "a travesty" and pleaded for it to be vetoed.
"I cannot remember ever seeing a trade where a team got by far the best player in the trade and saved over $40 million in the process. And it doesn’t appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard," Gilbert wrote. "When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?
Gilbert famously wrote a stinging letter to LeBron James in the summer of 2010 when the forward left Cleveland for the Miami Heat, and published said letter on the Cavs' team website with a Comic Sans font. It seems fitting that his email would be the one leaked, though it was likely that other owners similarly wanted the deal squashed. Whether that sentiment was out of jealousy of the Lakers or in true pursuit of the greater good is likely something we will never know.
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