On the day that the NBA Lockout official ended, David Stern made some players of the league (and some fans) wish the lockout was still in place. All because of “basketball reasons”.
What are basketball reasons you say?
Well according to the NBA/Stern, basketball reasons are why the proposed three team trade between the Lakers, Rockets, and Hornets was nixed. A trade that would have landed the Lakers Chris Paul, the Rockets Pau Gasol, and the Hornets Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic. The Hornets would have also received a 2012 first round pick from the Rockets.
In terms of talent and players for their roster I am not sure how the Hornets could have come out any better than that in any other trade.
It is unclear what supplemental players would have filled out the trade. The Hornets would have had to send some other contracts back to the Lakers and Rockets to make the numbers work. Rumors are still swirling as to who those players might have been but at face value this trade made sense for all the right “basketball reasons”.
Either way by cancelling the trade the NBA has now entered into uncharted and unwanted territory. Make no mistake, this is a public relations mess.
So why did the NBA/Stern kill the deal?
Spite, anger, and outrage from his small market owners are what fueled this decision. Outspoken and recently scathed Cleveland Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert, emailed Stern calling the trade a “travesty”.
How dare any player force a trade to a large market team on the day before training camp, on the day the lockout officially ended? First it was the Miami Heat, then Carmelo Anthony, and the very notion that another super team was being formed in the already rich market of Los Angeles was too much too soon in a way.
NBA TV speculates the deal was killed in part because of the contradictory scenario in which the NBA actually owns the Hornets. The NBA has worked diligently to sell and keep basketball in New Orleans. They are actively looking for new ownership but fear is that without the team having its marquee player, Chris Paul, the team would be undesirable for new group of owners.
That would be a plausible argument if the entire world didn’t already know Chris Paul wants to leave. This decision for “basketball reasons” has just made that whole situation ever more undesirable to a potential buyer and plain just doesn’t make sense.
The NBA players are up in arms and wondering if they can recant their vote to end the lockout. No, seriously.
Chris Paul has contacted the NBPA and is seeking legal action. He will not be reporting to training camp in New Orleans…at least not yet.
Free agent guard Jason Richardson, and Pacers forward Danny Granger have been very vocal on Twitter in their displeasure over the league’s decision. Granger even tweeted he wanted to change his last name to “Stern’s b$%ch”.
A fine is surely coming for Granger!
The NBA pitched to the players that this new CBA would induce and foster player movement. Then on the very day the CBA became official they stopped six players from being moved in a trade. The perfect blend of irony and arrogance.
“Big things are coming” is the NBA’s new marketing campaign and canceling a blockbuster trade a day before training camp certainly is BIG. Not not necessarily smart but BIG.
I think the league certainly lost a few (more) fans as result of this decision.
But only for basketball reasons of course.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com