Posts Tagged ‘John DeShazier’

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.


CP3 Clears The Air, For Now …

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Like many of you, we’re still trying to figure out what to believe in regards to the situations of several high-profile players around the league as we embark on this training camp journey.

We’ve already heard from Carmelo Anthony (future remains uncertain) and even Jamal Crawford (remains uncertain about his future) about their intentions.

But the guy that really intrigues us here at the hideout is Chris Paul, who spent a good portion of his summer as the semi-silent star of the league’s relentless rumor mill.

Paul said all the right things in the video above, but something was missing.

It’s hard to put a finger on it, but his words …

“I’m ready to play, ” he told John DeShazier of the Times Picayune. “I’m ready to play. Everyone is always going to talk and make different inquiries about different things going on. But now it’s time to play.

“My biggest thing is, I haven’t changed. I’m the same person. I’m at a happy place. I’m feeling good and healthy.”

… don’t seem to match his body language (look at that video again).

Something tells me Paul will be eager to see the Heat’s first preseason game, against the Pistons on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. ET live on NBA TV. Like most of us, he’ll be an intrigued observer every time LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh hit the floor this season. Paul will no doubt wonder what his future holds.

If you go by what he has told the Hornets, however, that future remains in New Orleans (for now, at least).

“He’s been a professional, as he’s been his whole career, ” Hornets coach Monty Williams told DeShazier. “With all the speculation, it makes you wonder about things you shouldn’t even wonder about. To be honest with you it’s getting old, talking about that all the time.

“I just want to get to talking about the team and how Chris is going to benefit in our system, more than talking about whether or not a guy is happy. The NBA, unfortunately, can make guys unhappy for a long time, and that goes for everybody.

“My prayer is that he’s happy. He looks like he’s ready to roll. He’s always been positive, he’s always been upbeat with me.”


We’re hoping the Hornets have more to go on than that.


Paul Clears The Air …


Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We didn’t need to see his face or hear him say it to believe the words.

Chris Paul doesn’t want to be traded after all.

Dell Demps, the Hornets’ new general manager made that clear with his first public comments in his new role running the team. After a 90-minute sit down with Paul and his representatives, the air has been cleared.

Paul’s good to go with the Hornets and there won’t be another Super Team formed this summer … at least not one with Paul as one of the Super Friends.

It had to be a rugged first day of work for Demps, as John DeShazier of the Times Picayune explains:

Surely, Demps didn’t count on his first day on the job being dominated by a meeting with Paul, during which the Hornets’ superstar point guard was expected to formalize his trade request to a championship contender or be swayed to give the new regime a chance to help raise New Orleans from the lottery.

Oh, both sides emerged from the meeting presenting a unified front.

“I expressed my desire to win, and I like what they said about the direction they want to take the team,” Paul said in a release. “I have been a Hornet my entire career, and I hope to represent the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana for many years to come.”

Said Demps: “I was encouraged. It was the first time I’d met Chris. It was a good opportunity for us to open the lines of communication. Chris had some very good points. He’s a smart, young, intelligent person, and I was really excited about the meeting.

“He did not request a trade.”

But that’s not the same as saying Paul — who has two years remaining on his contract before he can opt out and, therefore, doesn’t have much leverage — doesn’t desire a move. It also doesn’t squash the possibility that the subject again will dominate the local and national news cycle, before the season or at the trade deadline — if Paul still believes the organization hasn’t done enough to put itself in position to challenge for an NBA title.

Even if Demps wasn’t a first-time general manager, he wouldn’t be accustomed to navigating a process such as this.

We’re hoping Demps won’t have to worry about it again.

Paul says he’s feeling good about the direction of the team, so we’re going to take him at his word. If the rumors and rumblings kick up again 20 games into the season, we’ll point to his words (read by someone else, of course) above.

Once you clear the air, that’s all we need to hear. Besides, we like it better when you are going after the other big dogs on the block (Kobe Bryant knows all about it) as opposed to teaming up with them.