The Wrong Time To Intervene

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Basketball reasons, huh?

Good luck getting that one past the discerning eyes of millions of basketball fans that know better.

The explanation for the league putting a stop to the three-team, Chris Paul-Lakers deal was disseminated via statement late last night, putting the final nail into what was clearly one of the most bizarre nights the league has seen in years.

From the decision itself to the theories behind why it happened, not to mention the most twisted piece of all, Dan Gilbert‘s terse email detailing his displeasure (and that of many other owners) with the proposed trade was, it all just felt wrong.

It felt wrong as it was going down, wrong during three or four hours of sleep were lucky to get here at the hideout and dead wrong this morning as we try to make sense of the senseless.

The league picked the wrong time to intervene for “basketball reasons.” That should have been done long before Hornets general manager Dell Demps engaged in trade discussions with the dozen or so teams that made serious inquiries about Paul. And even then it would have been the wrong thing to do.

Whoever owns the Hornets will have to deal with the reality that Paul has no intention of playing for the franchise longterm. So rather than making a fool of the franchise, a mockery of the process and a bigger mess than the 149-day lockout did with the fans, someone needed to do the right thing and find a deal that allowed for Paul’s departure without totally destroying the fabric of the franchise.

Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor did it last season when he moved Deron Williams, his franchise’s most valuable asset at that time, before being backed into a similar corner. What Demps was attempting to do was in the very best interest of the franchise and would have been by most any reasonable standard a solid deal for the Hornets (you get three starters, two draft picks and save yourself from the ongoing saga that would have been CP3-watch for the next however many months … you have to take that deal).

Worse yet, the folks suffering the worst today are the players in all three cities that have to show up for training camp, if they show up for training camp, and answer questions about decisions that had nothing to do with them and they had no hand in making.

In Houston, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and Kevin Martin have to deal with the fallout. In Los Angeles a wounded Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol will be expected to hit the floor and act as if the night before had never happened. And in New Orleans, Paul has to decide if legal action is his best recourse for being allowed to do what we all know he will do at some point, and that’s leave the Hornets.

Not even “basketball reasons” will keep that from happening at some point.

***

SMALL MARKET OWNERS HARM THEIR OWN

John DeShazier of the Times Picayune: The obvious problem with several small-market NBA owners successfully banding together to block the New Orleans Hornets’ trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers is that now that they know they have that kind of juice, they can keep rejecting trades of Paul indefinitely. Where will it end?

Do the league-owned Hornets have to trade Paul to Cleveland, Minnesota, Milwaukee or Detroit for those owners to feel safe from the Lakers?

Will the Hornets be barred from trading Paul unless he’s swapped to a team owned by one of the “concerned” blockers?

Or will New Orleans be forced to hold on to Paul, watch him play his walk season and then leave after the season as a free agent, with the Hornets receiving nothing in exchange?

How does that latter scenario help the Hornets? How do any of them?

New Orleans, in fact, gets treated pretty bad if the franchise isn’t allowed to make a deal that would improve the team immediately, and likely makes it better than it would be if Paul stays this season.

Clearly, the personal belief is that the other owners’ concern/fear isn’t only that the Lakers would appear to make out like bandits if the trade for Paul is allowed. It’s that if Paul and Magic center Dwight Howard join the Lakers — and Howard, a looming free agent, is on the Lakers’ radar — then the Lakers would have rebuilt a dynasty-type core without skipping a beat, pulling off a coup despite new “restrictions” put in place by the new collective bargaining agreement that are supposed to make it harder to do just that.

*** *** ***

OUTRAGE ALL AROUND

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: Stern listened to enraged owners on Thursday who insisted this trade went against the entire reason the owners pushed for the lockout, that nothing had changed, and yet it was Stern who made the extraordinary decision to cancel the deal. Demps tried to talk him out of it, league officials said, but Stern was absolute in his desire to kill the trade.

Paul had listed the Lakers as one of his preferred destinations, and it became a more clear choice for him on Thursday after the New York Knicks moved to the brink of completing a four-year, $58 million contract for free-agent center Tyson Chandler. The Knicks lost the salary-cap space they would’ve needed to sign Paul this summer, and the Lakers had been pushing hard to close a deal for Paul with Houston and New Orleans.

As one rival executive with strong ties to the league office said, “Stern cared about two things: Selling that franchise for the best possible price; and showing the players that they weren’t going to dictate where teams could trade them. But now, there’s no way that the league can allow Chris Paul to be traded at all, otherwise Stern is basically deciding where one of the top players in the league is going versus having any fair process.”

Officials from New Orleans, Houston and Los Angeles were stunned Thursday night. The killed trade had ripple effects everywhere in free agency and potential trades, and literally pushed the market into paralysis on the eve of training camps opening up.

“We were all told by the league he was a trade-able player, and now they’re saying that Dell doesn’t have the authority to make the trade?” said an NBA executive who had periodic talks with New Orleans throughout the process. “Now, they’re saying that Dell is an idiot, that he can’t do it his job. [Expletive] this whole thing. David’s drunk on power, and he doesn’t give a [expletive] about the players, and he doesn’t give a [expletive] about the hundreds of hours the teams put in to make that deal.

*** *** ***

LEAGUE WILL PAY HEAVY PRICE FOR THIS LATEST MESS

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: On the very day that the NBA was supposed to be back, embracing us with this charade of a 66-game season after five months of a pointless lockout, it stepped into the worst kind of purgatory.

What happened Thursday, the incomprehensible events you’d expect from a second-rate, minor league sport, did far more damage than the lockout ever did — or ever could. After years of fans, both casual and hard-core, not to mention the disciplined executives and coaches working in the business, believing that something always wasn’t quite right — something was rotten in Denmark — the NBA finally proved it.

This whole thing Thursday reeked to high heaven, and the NBA is going to pay a very dear price for it.

Having spoken with team executives getting back into the swing of things since the tentative deal on a new collective bargaining agreement was reached two weeks ago, I heard the anger. No sooner had the beleaguered negotiators slept off the 15-hour bargaining session that finally resulted in the deal, it was back to business as usual. After a five-month lockout that was supposedly about restoring competitive balance — we can all hear deputy commissioner Adam Silver‘s mind-numbing, and as it turns out, empty soliloquy ringing in our ears — it was right back to Chris Paul wanting to be in New York, Dwight Howard in L.A., and on and on and on.

“Pathetic,” is how one team executive described the mayhem that played out Thursday, before commissioner David Stern somehow found a way to make it worse by canceling a trade that would’ve sent superstar Chris Paul from the Hornets to the Lakers for what a league spokesman laughably called “basketball reasons.”

*** *** ***

LEAGUE OWNERSHIP COMES WITH COMPLICATIONS

Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated: The initial response by the league is understandable. It follows years of simmering arguments that were not cooled by the new collective bargaining agreement, which five owners refused to ratify on the same day the Hornets’ trade was canceled. Bad feelings remain about the outcome of the lockout negotiations, because it maintained a soft cap that won’t prevent the Lakers from outspending the rest of the league, even after a more punitive luxury tax takes effect in two years.

But what did these owners expect? They were asking for expanded revenue sharing from the Lakers at the same time as they were demanding the Lakers relinquish their competitive advantage by submitting to a hard cap. Why should the Lakers cut themselves on both ends?

So consider the environment in which this decision about the trade of Chris Paul was made Thursday. Already, some of the owners were not happy the new CBA may enable the Lakers to flourish as before. Then comes word that the Lakers have essentially launched a new championship era by cashing out 32-year-old Odom and 31-year-old Gasol in exchange for Paul, an MVP-capable point guard who, at 26, is approaching his best years.

One thought surely was to prevent the Lakers from plundering the league-owned Hornets.

Another thought had to involve Paul, and how he shouldn’t be able to dictate a move to a team of his choice while he was under contract to the league as a whole.

But I wonder how much time was spent thinking about the Hornets.

*** *** ***

STUNNED LAKERS LOOKING FOR EXPLANATION

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register: The Lakers’ trade for Chris Paul was denied without an explanation, suggestion, encouragement or apology from the NBA. Kupchak was left in the Lakers’ training facility late Thursday night with Jim Perzik, the Lakers’ lawyer for the past 21 years and Jerry Buss‘ personal attorney, baffled at what had happened and even less clear about what freedoms or motions the Lakers could exercise in the future.

Consider Buss, the Lakers’ owner who endured the day’s radical highs and lows while hospitalized with blood clots in his legs. More than any doctor’s orders, Stern was telling Buss what he couldn’t do. What a profound feeling of powerlessness for a man who just finishing dutifully standing by his fellow owners and Stern, offering nary a peep of dissent throughout the 149-day lockout despite so much of it being meant to strip him of everything he established through past successes.

Now the right to free trade was being revoked out of the blue, too – mere hours after it was made official the Lakers would fork over $50 million per year in future seasons to other owners through a new revenue-sharing system.

The NBA didn’t tell the Lakers, “Well, we own this team and we want at least a superstar back, so we should get both Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.” It wasn’t, “The incoming talent has to be younger than Houston’s package.” No one said: “How about Andrew Bynum?”

According to those inside the Lakers’ operation, the NBA said nothing, didn’t try at all to make a deal work, didn’t want anything to do with Chris Paul to the Lakers when it meant giving both Chris Paul and the Lakers what they wanted.

***

98 Comments

  1. likeucare says:

    this trade would have been a bad deal for the hornets. 33 million on the cap for 2 players 30 yrs old who do not want to play for the hornets. one possible backup pg and one potential allstar whose contract will be up in two years. the pick will not be a lottery pick and none of these players is under contract for more than three years. odom,martin for two,scola three. this would use up much of the hotnets cap and all of thesle players most likely leave in two years. meanwhile,they are just good enough to miss the lottery,nut who thinks these players are going to put the hornets better than the top teams in the west,but it will delay rebuilding.

  2. buzzkillington says:

    Will somebody please save the Rockets from destroying their own team? Will someone please trade away the Rockets’ current GM and bring in someone with a clue, pretty please?

  3. Webstro says:

    Good deal for the NO and the Rockets.
    The only thing I can’t understand is what will LA give for D12. Maybe peanuts!!!!.
    If they get D12. Bryant should be their 6th man…. LOL!!!!
    David and those owners are killing the league. Teams should still have the freedom an creativity
    to build their team and keep it to the top, no mather what. We don’t want to watch the Pistons against the Cleveland every night.
    Although both teams used to be my favorite team. But they couldn’t make decent deals in the past to stay on top.
    If we can’t have some good teams in the NBA why should we keep watching NBA. Then NBA should be for free.
    Last season was the best season since Jordan. All the drama around the Heat, LA got swept, Mavs the champion of the NBA. Derick Rose the MVP. Dirk one of the best 10 players of “all time”.
    If that wasn’t entertainment. You don’t love drama….. LoL… It all started with the super friends in Miami.
    Come on David we want more drama. Give the teams their freedom to keep the drama on.

  4. Alex says:

    There was a time when the NBA was about basketball. How often would we talk about the League back in the Magic-Bird-Jordan eras? A fine for Rodman maybe so often…The last few years, the League office has become the most dominant presence in our mindset. So many rules, constant changes, a referee scandal, trade control, even ownership of a franchise.

    And now this. Clearly not a lopsided trade. Nothing like the last Gasol trade. All three teams got value back with risk and also upside. Lakers lowered payroll (the most likely reason all this is happening), Gasol will do well in Houston, and Hornets became watchable, with several quality players and more picks.

    I don’t even get it. The Hornets negotiating position is awful. How will the public accept a different deal that is anything less than much higher value for NO, unless it’s a pure public gaming against the Lakers. We could even see lawsuits with this one. And it gets worse.

    CP s done in NO. The boos will make this ugly from the start, even if he reports. He’ll never return to NO now next year. Now he’s mad enough to sue the league or harm the Hornets. If he simply tells publicly he is determined to walk next summer wherever he ends up, who would dare it? Especially for an offer better than the one on the table, of 3 exciting legit starters and picks. So, Stern in his eternal effort to mind-control the NBA, finally blunders. A star player still has the power at the end of his contract.

    At least theoretically, he Lakers could find themselves in a position to *decrease* their next offer for CP! If the only team that will negotiate with you offers you Lamar straight up, couple of noncore players and picks, what would you do Mr Stern?

  5. shatterstarlulu says:

    I don’t understand this talk about super teams and how short people’s memories are.

  6. NY!! says:

    Wait SORRY.
    TYSON CHANDLER MAKES $14.5 MILLION A YEAR, NOT 13!

  7. David says:

    LET US MAKE IT LOUD: DAVID STERN RESIGN!!!!!!

  8. Alex says:

    Stern should retire, be fired, or die. Whichever comes soonest.

  9. Justsaying says:

    Remember this folks, Trading Gasol and Odom frees up around 22 million per season for the lakers. They were planning on going after howard with that money after getting Chris Paul.. See, the media threw everyone off by saying that Howard wanted to be traded to the Nets. He never wanted to go to the Nets. Why would he want to go to a team that is 5 years or more from an NBA Title Run?

  10. Gent says:

    I m really furious with stern!!! this is dictatorship !!! i really think he’s doing this stuff to destroy the league or something like that !!! you cant put competitive balance by abusing power !!! I don’t care about the deal I’m just worried that there is not going to be any basketball left to watch for us fans!!!

  11. LAKERS25 says:

    We LAKERS fans should see CHRIS PAUL come here soon. Even if NBA doesn’t like it at all. But what I think this should happen. Now that Gilbert Arenas & Baron Davis where waive off from there old teams they should help New Orleans cause their veterans of the NBA. And with the trade that comes from Houston where they will get Luis Scola, Gonan Dragic, Kevin Martin & a draft pick too. And the LAKERS will give them Lamar Odom & maybe a draft pick too. But the Rockets will get Pau Gasol & maybe a draft pick from the LAKERS too. This deal will help out all three teams in a long time cause they will not have problem of have to pay lot of money to their players that are not happy to be there with that team. I agree with New Orleans this is a great deal. We see if it happen. Maybe they can get much better like the Oklahoma City Thunder. This time David Stern is wrong for this one. Cause his seem not to a bad person at all. I hope he has a heart during this Christmas holiday & give a huge gift to all the NBA fans & those three teams. Please lets see this happen & not have a huge fight in the courts I know that small teams in small market are mad about this. But if David Stern stop this, I think other teams will not like to do trade with New Orleans. So we see CHRIS PAUL as a LAKERS before the end of this year. And he be wearing the LAKERS gears on Christmas day. I hope to see it happen.

  12. Tim B says:

    the problem is chris paul is great i get it but pau gasol and lamar odom have become key players. In lakers defense they already have a point gaurd … kobe bryant. Chris pauls great he be good but it might not move the lakers in the right direction

  13. Max. W says:

    It seems like up till now the only names involved with the Knicks have been CP3, Superman, and Grant Hill. Now it seems like Tyson Chandler is going to end up in the Big Apple. Although, he’s not a superstar like Cp3 or Dwight Howard he is the key to the Knicks’ success. Let’s examine why they are the match made in heaven.

    To read more go to http://www.nbathroughmyveins.wordpress.com

  14. AngryFan says:

    David Stern, what was the real “basketball-related reason” for why Chris Paul couldn’t be traded? Why is the deal wrong if all parties involved, excluding the other owners, thought the deal was good, and that it would help all parties? LA would not have to go through a rebuilding phase where LA, one of the faces of the NBA, would become irrelevant after Kobe Bryant retired. New Orleans would not have to wait until the end of the season and watch their superstar, MVP-caliber player walk out the front door with nothing in exchange. Mind you, this WILL cripple the Hornets, and the team’s value will drop. If the deal was nixed in order to save the team’s value, you are wrong. The team’s value will drop even further if Chris Paul walks out the front door with no Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic, and some draft picks walking in. Houston will improve its roster with the addition of an All-Star in Pau Gasol. TRADES THAT HELP ALL PARTIES AND THAT ALL PARTIES AGREE TO SHOULD NOT BE NIXED BECAUSE OF VAGUE “BASKETBALL-RELATED REASONS.” The fact that this deal was nixed shows how unfair the league is to the teams, players, and fans. Business and Basketball should stay as separate as possible.

  15. Ron says:

    Get mad if you want, but the nba is the owner of the hornet’s. The owner nixes trades all the time. And the team that REALLY get’s screwed in that trade would have been Houston, LA And NO would both have made out and Houston lost BIG TIME~

  16. Matt says:

    David Stern should resign.

  17. N G says:

    Time for Lakers to trade GASOL to the Nets for DERON WILLIAMS;
    Then Lakers trade ODOM & BYNUM to Magic for HOWARD…
    Then CP3 walks into the Lakers as free agent in 2012…

    AND FINALLY, Stern is removed as Commissoner.

  18. John B says:

    This is wrong on so many levels. It’s obvious to any rational person what this is really all about, and it leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. I mean it, this is wrong for many reasons, the least of which is Basketball Related.

  19. spliftout says:

    this is BS!!!! So the League wants to make sure the Lakers don’t get any more rings I’m guessing? Stern is single handedly destroying the NBA I’m calling for his JOB!!!! he’s a disgrace to the NBA and the FANS get him out!!!!!!!!

  20. Cord says:

    wow im a big laker fan and this is just BS how does this veto make any since keep paul in NO for this season and get nothing for him it hurts them more than anything if the trade goes threw the lakers will have the PG they need in their new look offence and still can get Howard cuz of it whats nxt veto the howard Deal if they can get that done 2 all in all let the trade happen Odom doesnt want to be in LA now cuz he feels unwanted Gasol will be ok no matter what happens and Huston well idk about them lol just let it happen NO will be better in the long run especially with future all star Martin and should be all star odom just let it happen and Dan Gilbert Please keep your Cry baby comments out of where you have no word same goes for Mark Cuban aswell and any other owner that has a problem with it

  21. JEFF says:

    DAVID STERN HAS CHOSEN POURLY FOR THE NBA AND THE HORNETS, BUT MOST OF ALL THE FANS… CHRIS PAUL WILL NOT BE A HORNET NEXT YEAR AND THE HORNETS WILL HAVE NOTHING FOR IT. THIS WAS A GREAT DEAL FOR EVERYBODY AND BEST OF ALL YOU WOULD HAVE ALL THE FANS BACK COUNTING THE SECONDS TILL CHRISTMAS…BA HUM BUG! STERN (THE OWNERS PUPPET) HAS NOW KILLED IT AGAIN. I’VE BEEN A FAN FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS AND THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I REALLY DON’T WANT TO WATCH IT NOW. IF YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT THE FANS AND BASKETBALL APPROVE THIS TRADE.

    HERE LET ME HELP YOU HELP US.

    FANS LET’S BE HEARD REPLY YES OR NO TO THE TRADE

  22. michead says:

    simply ridiculous… the man has to go before destroying this league

  23. ice_pogi says:

    What a mess in L.A……… I feel bad that this trade didn’t get through……….. I feel sorry for CP3……….. How about Odom and Gasol??? Are they really cool now??? Imagine that………I love to see cp3 and d12 playing with kobe….
    By the way I’m no laker fan…..

    Let’s Go HEAT……………

  24. Trade David Stern to the Russian League says:

    why is everybody saying the rockets got the bad end of the deal? have you seen their roster? shedding Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic allows for Houston to let Courtney Lee, who can score if given enough minutes, johnny flynn/kyle lowry to run the point which leaves NO room for Dragic, and they have Patterson, Hill, Parsons, Marcus Morris, Budinger, Terrence Williams at the forward positions. are you kidding me? they have two 7ft centers in Thabeet and Motiejunas. all of these players ARE YOUNG. why does houston need picks to get younger? they’d probably just sell the picks anyways. and if they need anything then can ship 1 or 2 of their forwards to bring in guards.

    • Paul says:

      I agree. I think Houston will fair well with Pau as the solid leader of the team and rest of young talents.

  25. Laker24 says:

    Boycott the NBA until Stern is out

    • Lee says:

      If only there was a way to organize such a movement. Imagine how awesome it would be to slap those stupid owners and stern in the face after all their BS through lockouts and manipulating trades by having even 50% of the NBA fans stop funding them. They’d look so stupid for arguing over money that wasn’t even on the table and they’d get a taste of reality, that business never guarantees profit.

  26. laker_fan_2011 says:

    Now you see why LeBron left Cleveland–––Dan Gilbert!

  27. David Stern says:

    I hope David Stern Croaks soon. This guy is single handedly ruining the NBA.

  28. Joel says:

    this is the most ridiculous thing ever , are you kidding how can’t there be no freedom of choice,New Orleans is not going to get a better deal for Chris Paul,he is going to leave anyway, the NBA is becoming something else and is really sad. if these things continue the business side will destroy the league

    David stern is liar basketball reasons have nothing to do with this trade, maybe business reasons

    David stern have be to the most hated commissioner in sport, I can’t think about anybody else, if he was a politician he would be a dictator

  29. coolwind says:

    the owners complained about lakers shedding 15 mil salary and still having their draft picks while getting paul
    they arent against paul going to la,they are against lakers shedding salary and retaining draft picks while getting him

    had the deal went through lakers would have cap space and draft picks to get howard + 1 bad contract of orlando,no would get 3 starters and houston would get the short end of the stick trading their best players for the old gasol

    it was not the best way to handle the situation,maybe it was not even fair but we should be glad it didnt happen,big market super teams are bad for on-court fun

    and lets not forget david stern is a businessman,he arguably saved the nba in the 80s,turned it into a giant money machine,what he says is taken seriously by others in the nba even if its abuse of power

    • Paul says:

      NBA was saved in the 80s because of the rivalry between Lakers vs. Celtics. Magic vs. Bird. East vs. West. what does it have to do with Stern is beyond my knowledge. I think the Chris Paul trade re-energize at least 2 franchises.

  30. Maxfree says:

    Free Chris Paull

  31. Mark says:

    stern is stupid. only team who didnt make out good on this trade is the rockets who gave up scola, martin, 2 1st round picks, & dragic for gasol. hornets made out great & of course the lakers did too pending they were to get howard. if this deal went thru & they didnt get howard, then this would hurt the lakers because theyd be too thin up front
    they should have left either scola or martin out of the deal & it would be a good trade.
    but being that the league owns the hornets, stern had a right to do what he did, as much as i hate it. but i dont like the fact that he did it because of the other owners as opposed to doing whats best for the hornets

  32. DUNK_CHAMP says:

    Man Stern is the worst commissioner ever. Why is it that the Heat can get LBJ and Bosh but Lakers cant even get CP3 for Gasol AND Odom. It’s a really fair trade especially for NO. Idiots like Stern and Dan Gilbert are the reason why NBA is so crappy. All they want is a bunch of evenly matched teams playing, smh.

    • Sway says:

      They were all free agents. I think you should say, why can Melo get a trade from Denver to NY, while Chris Paul cant be traded to LA.

  33. DEEJAY BASKETBALL says:

    This is outrageous. The league has no right to even have any say in what the Lakers or any other team in the league does. Even though they own the Hornets it’s not right plus the hornets really got an upgrade from what they had last year. You loss Paul and gain Kevin Martin, L.O. , Scola, Dragic who has been a backup to Steve Nash for years and he can run the show. So in my opinion the hornets made out and they got draft picks. But honestly the other owners complaining makes no since they cry about where players are going but in reality it’s the owners who draft players and trade for players so if your team is not that good look in the mirror. When a player is a free agent he has the right to choose what and where he wants to go. So to all the hating owners guess what now you have opened up more problems because you basically called off this trade and Paul and Howard no matter which way you try to put it will end up in L.A. either this year or next year because once the season ends Hornets can kiss Paul Good bye especially after yesterday and Yes MAGIC fans Howard will be the next SHAQ heading to the main stream LA.

  34. Trade David Stern to the Russian League says:

    anybody remember the Will Ferrell movie Semi-Pro and especially where he trades the teams washing machine for Ed Monix? maybe the Russian league will give us a washing machine for David Stern…..

  35. shibal says:

    NBA owners are enraged? please yall making millions of bucks. cp3 will leave NO next year and only people gonna be reponsibile for losing him is commisioner dabitch stern

  36. Enrique Merino says:

    What´s really happening is very simple: Some owners (Mark Cuban) don´t want to see CP3 playing in L.A. because with him and Dwight Howard the Lakers will be a very serious menace for Dallas, that´s the reason. ¿L.A. Lakers breaking the new agreement? ¿Basketball reasons? Lies, only lies

  37. Trade David Stern to the Russian League says:

    so let me get this straight david stern? you have not only blocked a potential deal to bring in 4 starters plus picks to the Hornets in Martin, Scola, Odom, Dragic, but you nullified a deal that could have easily been reworked to give the Hornets MORE since Houston could have easily sent a young forward in Parsons, Patterson, or Hill to the Hornets as well since they would still retain 2 of the 3 they did not trade, Marcus Morris, Gasol, and Budinger. and not to mention a couple seasons ago this organization, not sure if it was owned by the NBA, shipped off Darren Collison to Indiana and spent a 1st round pick on Jarryd Bayless which you shipped off to Toronto…. so now you’ve left the Hornets in a situation, which speculation Paul would leave has been floating around for 2 or so season, with NO heir apparent at pg because you TRADED THEM FOR NOTHING and now you’ve blocked this trade for 4 quality, 3 all-star caliber starters only to let the Lakers, or Knicks, get him for free? yeah that’s surely helping a small market team.

  38. Derek says:

    We can stop calling NBA a sport now, it is now a scripted entertainment just like the WWE.

  39. Maciek says:

    After reading different comment all day long I have to say – ‘what in the name is wrong with all of you’
    Stern was absolutely wright, so was Gilbert (and I’m not fan of any of them, nor Cleveland either) – how can you agree to a deal in which the best team in the last 5 years (Lakers) takes the best ‘playa’ (‘coz what Paul is doing has nothig to do with sportsmanship, so not a player he is), getting rid of its oldest players having any value and comes out with about 15 milion less payroll than before!!!!!! That wolud be a masterpiece… Good job Stern, don’t allow anyone to screw with New Orleans, especially Paul himself, he’s working for you, not the way around…

    • K says:

      But how does this help the Hornets franchise for the future? If you don’t move CP3 this year; especially after this mess with this trade, then he most certainly will walk next season as an unrestricted free agency and the Hornets will be left without a superstar player and without any quality players that can at least be able to compete. That trade had to be made; if nothing, but avoid the mess their going to have to deal with now with an unhappy CP3. Like it or not; the NBA is a players league.

  40. K says:

    This was bad; now what with Chris Paul? If the league is trying to keep superstar player from gathering on these larger market teams then why do you have free agency? Either way, your going to have to move CP3 before next season; so why kill the proposed trade to LAL? The players that the Hornets would have gotten in return for CP3 would have been able to keep the Hornets competitive. Lamar Odom was a double-doubles player last season coming off the bench; so image what his numbers would look like as a starter with a Luis Scola and Kevin Martin as teammates. All three of those guys can score 20 points consistently if given the minutes. Then you throw in the draft picks and Emeka Okafor; hell the Honests in my view would be better then they were last season. Not saying that CP3 isn’t a great player, but you just seriously handicapped the whole Hornets franchise and created a huge mess between that team and it’s superstar player. The team that would have gotten jacked with this trade by the way would not have been NO; instead, it would have been the Rockets. Pau Gasol; although he is a good player, he can’t carry a franchise by himself.

  41. boycottthenba says:

    Honestly, this is the last straw for me. A perfectly fair trade that left New Orleans in a great situation with three solid starters and draft picks and no drama with Paul. “Basketball reasons”? That makes me laugh almost as hard as the “War on Terror” aka the “Quest for Oil”.

    Boycott the NBA.

  42. MikeBren says:

    The Hornets would benefit the most on this trade. KING STERN should be thanksful to DELL DEMPS for giving the Hornets the best line up in years. They got Kevin Martin, ODOM, SCOLA that averages double digit scores per game. and Dragic a very promising point guard. The league is getting worst year after year.. WHEN would STERN RESIGN????

  43. bernard de NOLA says:

    I’ve never been a Lakers fan, even if it meant disagreeing with my whole family. But today, i side with west coast NBA fans. This is so upsetting. As a Hornet fan, i was hyped cause i know CP can’t do it by himself and him and DWest aren’t enough even with Ariza. Remember they had to bring in Landry to be in the playoffs again. This was a better deal for us since it allowed us an immediate rebuilding team with possible good pieces for the future. They just took the future away from the city. We were very supportive fans, and this is how they repaid us.

  44. Noah says:

    David Stern should not have rejected the trade but if he let it go through people would have said now there are only going to be five good teams and he just wants money, but when he did stand up and say no everyone is pissed off at him, it is a catch 22 for David Stern, The rockets were also planing to sign Nene so the trade would have given them a good front court and I think it would have made the Lakers better, how would adding the best point guard in the league with Kobe and Buynum make the Lakers worse they are giving up two 30 year olds, I mean they would be better and it was a great trade for the Hornets. p.s. the people who keep saying this is it I give up on the NBA please just shutup.

  45. pete says:

    I can’t believe David Stern would interfere in a teams affairs like this. Surely this is beyond what his powers should be. If a team wants to trade a player that should be their prerogative for better or worse.

  46. Ryan says:

    Stern’s finished. It was bad enough that he headed the lockout but now he’s abused his position and authority showing the league to be corrupted. I can’t believe he said “basketball reasons” with a straight face. Anyone with a brain could see that the trade was the best move for the hornets and whether it would have lead to another Lakers dynasty or not is irrelevant. I expect Paul will soon take legal action and that the league will never recover from this disaster. Bye bye Stern.

  47. Celtic says:

    I don’t care what any of the owners have to say: since when has Mark Cuban been taken seriously? And we all know Dan Gilbert’s still crying over his loss of Lebron. Gilbert couldn’t say: “This trade for Christ Paul is fair” because we all know if the opportunity had arisen, Gilbert would have kept Lebron in Cleveland despite his wish to play in Miami.
    The CBA shouldn’t be about and isn’t about keeping stars in their franchise. It’s about having money to pay for super stars. At the end of the day, I don’t think it would have mattered to Chris Paul if he’d been getting a max contract with New Orleans: the Lakers are just more appealing. It’s not the money that was drawing Christ Paul to LA, and it’s not the money that’s (possibly) drawing Dwight Howard to LA either. It’s about winning. They can win together in LA, where both Paul and Howard have been struggling to win in Orlando.
    The owners just don’t want the Lakers to rebuild a team that is starting to age. That’s the real core of this decision. This has nothing to do with the CBA. This is about the fear of owners. They need to realize something: they invested in the NBA and sometimes, you’re gonna lose! In fact, most of the time you’re going to lose. It’s a fact of life. Everyone invests in big things and comes out on the bad end. You can’t hide from it.
    Paul will leave New Orleans at the end of the year anyway. If the CBA is meant to keep him there, I’d like to see it make a difference. This CBA doesn’t change and shouldn’t change anything for the All-Stars.

  48. Cali George says:

    “Basketball Reasons”??? Ok, CP3 stays in NO for the 66 game season AND he leaves as an unrestricted FA and $30 Million lighter in his pockets due to Sterns ill=advised stupic decision. Dell Demps did a great job in making the trade, and he was shot in the face by Sterns. Mr Sterns you are an idiot to not see that this deal was the best deal player wise for the Hornets in opposed to getting nothing at years end.

  49. rich says:

    I was all the way for the owners demand in the CBA. Now I’m all for the players and team’s right to do what they want for their team as long as it is in line with the CBA, which in the case for the Paul’s trade is completely legal !
    Having said this, I think the only winner here is the Hronets getting 4 quality players for Paul. Lakers is obviously the loser here, and Houston to some extent.

  50. wetz says:

    This is a power play by NBA owners to show who’s boss and player can’t just dictate the terms on where they want to go. This has nothing to do with the NBA owning the Hornets (just a plus for them to own the Hornets thus they have a reason to block the deal). If CP3 was traded to the Clippers or Warriors, I doubt any owners would complain .. In the real corporate world, an employee cannot “dictate” to the owner which department he wants to work or what he wants to do (he/she can “request”, but cannot dictate the terms and its up to the owner/management to decide). The NBA is like a corporation where the owners are the management and the players are employees.. they have to deal with it ..

    • K says:

      Prior to this mess last night had CP3 publicly ask for a trade? The problem now is unlike corporate American CP3 can become a disruptive employee; which would not be good for the franchise and what could the Hornets’ management do? In corporate American you could just terminate the employee; not the case in professional sports. Like it or not, the league messed this one up.

    • Paul says:

      CP3 deserved every right to bargain. In any company, if you perform well, you can ask for better treatment. so was it wrong for CP3 to be traded to a better contender? He already gave Hornet the chance to put the right pieces around him in order to win a championship. and surely he didn’t try to “Lebron” the team. He kindly do what he needed. I don’t think if the lineup of CP3-Kobe-Howard would equaly a championship. In the end, a more BALANCED team with the right pieces wins. Maverick has already proved that last year. CP3 didn’t dictate the trade. He earned his right to bargain for it. and Demps put together a SOLID and WINNING deal which Stern had no reason to block if he was thinking for the Hornets. and this SUPERSTAR thing has seriously been blown out of context. Let’s look at teams like Spurs, Pistons, and even maybe the Celtics. especially the Pistons, they beat Kobe, Shaq, Gary Payton, and Karl Malone.

  51. The Watcher says:

    I’m a Heat fan and I think this is messed up.

    The thing is that The Hornets are owned byt the League…it’s not like they can block a Howard trade…CP3 just happens to be on a team where the NBA has final say.

    If Howard had already been traded to NJ at the time of this trade then this nixing of the CP3 deal would never have happened…so I guess you can say David Stern is playing puppet master here and that’s the only reason it’s messed up.

    If it’s within the rules of the CBA then it should’ve been allowed….I don’t care if their Big 3 would’ve been bigger than ours (and it would’ve been).

    Whatever…I don’t like the Lakers anyway.

    • HeatWave says:

      I agree. Although it’s kind of unfair for them to stop the trade at the last minute, it’s still within the rules. Fact is NO is not privatley own so the owners that felt it was a bad trade said something. In the end LA can get Howard if they want. And if CP really wants to be in LA he can wait till July.

  52. David says:

    Personally, I wonder about David Stern’s state of mind. This decision seems quite irrational, and one wonders if he is fully in control–everyone has understood the consequences of this move, seemingly, except Stern. When one has been running on too little sleep, too much travel, too many demands from too many people, too many decisions (decision overload is an actual thing), one can, frankly, get to a place where you’re functioning at 50% of your faculties, but you don’t realize it. I think Stern is, literally, a little out of control.

  53. Nick says:

    As long as the league owns the Hornets any trade can be looked upon as a conflict of interest because the team is actually owned by all of the other owners. One could question this deal on those grounds. With the understanding that the most powerful teams (money-wise) are the large market teams, doesn’t this trade look fishy? Houston gets Gasol, LA gets Paul and New Orleans gets……a bunch of “sixth” men? Sounds like a helluva deal for LA and Houston! I find it hard to believe that a deal like this would’ve gotten any traction at all if the Hornets were owned by a “real” owner.

    • WIFE SNIPER says:

      look at the nuggets, they are better wo mello. this is a better deal than that for the hornets.

    • sbfern805 says:

      Really?? You ned to watch some basketball!! Odom is a starter on any team in the NBA. Lus Scola is also a very consistent player who can start on any team. Martin is a young player who has not even reached its prime and has averaged 20ppg. Do some research before you call this trade a lopsided one. Lakers are taking ahuge risk right now by this trade because they are giving up their advantage (SIZE) and who knows how it will work out. As i see it, CP3 is bound to be a Lakers…New York already got chandler so all Lakers need to concentrate is getting Howard.

  54. MonkeyFNTSTC says:

    What was in that CBA Agreement? STERN CAN DO WHAT EVER HE WANTS(?!) in font size 1.

  55. Alex says:

    Hey Sekou, do you think that Paul will go the Lakers or play in Hornets uniform untill he’s a free agent next summer and leave New Orleans, leavin’ them with empty hands?

    Do you think the trade will happen? And what about Howard,do the Lakers have a chance or he will
    end up in New Jersey?

    I’d appreciate your opinion,thanx.

  56. this is unfair to all laker fans , the 3 teams already know that the trade will be on , but suddenly favid stern reject it . let the hornets decide what they want its unfair to all of the million fans of nba and im sure this millions fans think that the NBA is fix :D

  57. Jigster says:

    It’s time for David Stern to go!

  58. HeatWave says:

    Now that I think about it, it’s unfair that the deal was stopped. If these teams wanted to trade they should be allowed to without intervention. I still don’t think it was that great of a deal for NO, but it shouldn’t have been stopped at the last minute.

    • WIFE SNIPER says:

      What??? CP3 is good dont get me wrong. But he is by himself in NO. They got depth and thats what they need in the league. A free agent like jason richardson or thorton and a couple mid level rookies w those picks, this is a playoff roster. The Lakers are the losers… Kobe, CP3, Mecca, Bynum???? Luke walton n fisher are not good 6, 7, 8s

  59. DEE says:

    LIKE OTHER PEOPLE AND I HAVE SAID BEFORE, THE NBA IS RIGGED.

  60. jw says:

    Well, this was the last straw….I’m done with the NBA, if they can do this. You have to let teams deal if they all agree. To stop it is not in the spirit of the league.

  61. WIFE SNIPER says:

    I live in New Orleans and go to games. Fans are pissed about this situation. We do not want CP3 and we are extremely happy with the pieces Demps was able to put together for him. The Lakers are not better with that trade, they lose alot trading Gasol and Odom. The Hornets benefit the most from this trade immediately and in the future w the picks. Everyone I talked to was psyched about this. How is the ‘league’ going to find someone to buy the Hornets if they are not winning??? This trade puts them I’d say 6th or 7th in the west. One more 10 and 10 player and this is a good team.

  62. Law064 says:

    Basketball reasons LMAO. Truthfully the Rockets would get the short end of the stick While the Hornets would gain the most. LA would suffer without Gasol & Odom, they would have a great back court but up front who would they have? A Injury prine Bynum and who? Dell Demps was on the right path, I guess if CP3 don’t go to Min,CLE,or DET then he’ll be stuck in NO. SMH David Stern should stop trying to be the King and dictate everything. True NO is owned by the league but seriously Scola Odom Martin and Dragic not to mention the draft picks. They got all that for just CP3 they won the deal they just lose they’re star player. I think that trade would hurt the Lakers more than help them. WTF is the NBA coming to WWE smh

  63. Jerald Smith says:

    Thank you commissioner Obama for redistributing the basketball wealth. We all really want to see a bunch of mediocre, evenly matched basketball teams in the NBA. The Lakers didn’t even get the best side of the deal, the small market team did!

  64. Harrison says:

    This whole thing is ridiculous. Since when does David Stern have the authority to veto trades that he doesn’t like for ambiguous “basketball reasons.” Does the commissioner now have complete and unrestricted power over all trades and transactions? The Lakers didn’t get Chris Paul for nothing. This was a very solid deal for the Hornets, and one could even argue that they made out better than the Lakers. After stopping this trade, the league cannot possibly allow Chris Paul to be traded anywhere. How does it help the Hornets if they lose him for nothing? All Stern is doing is pandering to whiny owners like Dan Gilbert of the Cavs who complain about everything rather than worry about their teams. This is a ridiculous abuse of power on the part of David Stern and the NBA, and he will lose all credibility if he does not reverse the decision.

  65. jc3 says:

    too bad no one will do anything about it

  66. Gary says:

    I think a fair deal would have been Gasol Odom + Draft Pick to NO for Paul. LA can still offer that can’t they? But NO just getting Odom and those Houston players if a rotten egg deal to me.

    • Paul says:

      I disagree. Luis Scola 18 and 8 last season. Kevin Martin 20 ppg. Both are young and have not reached their prime yet. Add that with Odom, who the Lakers did offer in that trade, and Hou 1st round pick this year and you have a FAIR deal for everyone. Any draft picks the Lakers have to offer would be late first and second round picks anyway and not worth much.

  67. NBA Fan Number 1 says:

    This is appalling. I can’t believe this David Stern character… after all the lockout BS… doing something like this.

    Best point made so far = Imagine if this mess took place 1 day earlier. Would the new CBA get ratified by the players?

    I think not.

    • The Watcher says:

      The nixing of the deal has nothing to do with the new CBA in the sense that it was only done because the NBA owns the New Orleans Hornets (LITERALLY).

      The loser-team owners (like Dan Gilbert) only mentioned the new CBA in their objections to this trade on principle…not because there was any specific clause in the CBA that would allow David Stern or the NBA to pull this sh*t with any other teams or with any other future deals.

      Most players would be smart enough to see this and would still have ratified the new CBA.

      Read what I just wrote slowly and let it sink in…this trade block was not something explicitly allowed by the CBA…don’t get it twisted.

    • RaptorsFan says:

      The reason for Stern Cancelling this deal is to stop this madness in the NBA…

      The deal that sends Bosh And Lebron to Miami showed the players that they can do whatever they want, and join up with other superstars so that they can win a championship.

      Whatever happened to winning a championship with just one superstar and carrying your team. Look at Dallas, they had a lot of good players but not 3 superstars.

      The NBA doesn’t want two to three teams winning every championship because they bought the team and allowing the superstars essentially rig the NBA…

      For example if they allowed this Trade they would have Paul and have more then enough money to Sign Dwight howard.

      Now imagine The heat team, which is getting better players by the day, and a KOBE/PAUL/Dwight howard team.

      What other team could compete… NONE which makes the NBA boring.

      They need to put a stop to these NBA players being baby’s and bring some pride into this game.

      I am a canadian, and I don’t believe in this bull* about chasing money and chasing your dream team.

      • Jet says:

        Bosh and Lebron were free agents when they signed with Miami. Are you saying people dont have the right to work where they want to work? Free Agent meaning they could play wherever they like.

        The 3 team trade was fair and it was it actually helped the Hornets more than the lakers.

        As you were.

      • Bobbie says:

        I agree with the reply. You don’t believe in working where you want to work or chasing your dream? What else is there? We certainly are not drones.
        Think about it…