By now this isn’t news to anyone today. Even the people who don’t follow the NBA know that David Stern elected to veto the 3 team deal between the Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets, and Los Angeles Lakers. You can read my story right here.
naturally, most of the “twitterverse”–as some of us like to call it–reacted negatively to this reaction by Stern and the NBA. Most of them are appalled–myself included–that a trade of this magnitude was cancelled because of a plea by 15 of the 29 owners in the NBA. I’ve heard on the radio this morning how disgusted people are with Stern right now. They say he’s just flashing his power just to do it.
Stern has lost his power, actually. That’s why this trade is being vetoed. The small market teams in the NBA looked at this as a slap in the face just hours after ratifying the brand new collective bargaining agreement. This letter by Dan Gilbert to David Stern(where he takes a shot at the Washington Generals…not that it matters or anything…)says it all. Gilbert asked Stern to consider a vote between the 29 owners of the New Orleans Hornets. If they could get majority vote then that’s what would veto the trade.
The David Stern of old would never have taken this from all of these new owners. The previous owners of the NBA franchises from the late 80’s and before are dying down in numbers. The Abe Pollins and Larry Millers of the NBA are gone. They are being replaced by the Dan Gilberts and the Michael Jordans. Yes, Michael Jordan…it hurts I know. But the fact of the matter is, these guys have all of the power now. Stern is losing power just like any leader for an extended period of time would. This is why he has Adam Silver on his lap, waiting to give him the title of “NBA commissioner”.
I digress. Back to the complaints about the Paul trade. The reason why people are so appalled is because the NBA stated that the Hornets rejected the trade because of “Basketball Reasons”. This is after they gave Hornets GM Dell Demps and Team President Hugh Weber permission to run the team how they see fit. It looked as if the NBA had no intentions to interfere with the deal. We have come to find that there was a stipulation on the back end of that. The deal had to be to the NBA’s liking. And by the NBA, I mean the owners not Stern. I can understand the anger on everyone’s behalf.
This cancellation of the trade is legal by owner standards. We all know that everything has to come back to the owner. While it may not be the most fair thing in the world, it was completely legal. From the complaints that I’m hearing that’s what some of us don’t really understand. The NBA owns the New Orleans Hornets. They have the power to veto any decision that Dell Demps and Hugh Weber choose to make. Saying that this was just for Basketball Reasons is completely bogus. This trade would’ve benefited all 3 teams. The Lakers got their guy, the Hornets got 3 salvageable pieces, and the Rockets got a big that they can run their offensive system through. This makes sense for all parties, right? I believe that Stern should’ve just came out and told the truth from the jump. There wouldn’t have been as much drama involved in the situation.
Everyone is upset. Chris Paul has talked about suing according to sources. All three teams in the deal have been rumored to make an appeal to this decision by David Stern. Dell Demps, apparently, had to be talked out of resigning because of this situation. This is a debacle in the truest form of the word. The NBA has taken a major PR hit, but it shouldn’t affect the leagues ratings in any way depending on what happens with Paul in the near future.
The way I see it is that the Hornets have 3 options. Stern can either allow the trade to go through as planned, select another trading partner–probably from a small market or lesser talent team–to deal Paul to, or let Paul play the season out in his current state of anger. I think option 1 will serve the league best, and that’s what I’m leaning toward believing. I’m a firm believer that Paul will be moved before the season. He refused to report to Hornet training camp today and that can’t be good. If it comes to it I could see Paul sitting out games also which also won’t serve him well coming in from a locked out offseason where he looked out of shape in many charity games.
This should teach us all a valuable lesson. Lets not follow the path of Carmelo Anthony. He did not go about his moving to another team in the right way. He forced his way out of a situation instead of just playing his contract out for all that it was worth. This goes to show that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If Paul was smart then he would’ve just played his contract out and went where he wanted to next season. Forcing and fighting your way into a sign in trade, as a superstar at that, never brings about a good situation. So maybe, just maybe, these sign and trade deals should’ve been removed from the league in the new CBA. They are obviously bad for the league’s health. Lets just hope they can move past this and we all can remember December 8th, 2011 as a day where the NBA learned its lesson.
Michael Sykes is a writer for the SportsBlogMovement. Follow us on twitter. Use the Hashtag.