Sunday, December 11, 2011

David Stern Blocks Chris Paul Trade

NBA Commissioner David Stern blocked the trade that would have sent Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers.  The NBA runs the Hornets team after they ran into financial problems and the NBA is committed to keeping a team in New Orleans and feared losing the star of the team when they are trying to build the franchise up.  The trade itself was a good one. New Orleans would have received Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic, Lamar Odom and a 2012 first-round pick.  Now none of the teams involved have anything to show for their hard work and David Stern looks as though he caved to pressure from owners to stop the trade.

I get that the the league doesn't want the rich getting richer (LA Lakers) as small market teams contiue to struggle to keep their own.  This is even more important as the new collective bargaining agreement was thought to help the small market teams keep their stars.  This could be seen as a slap in the face of everything the league fought for.  True or not the perception now is that NBA owners pressured Stern into making a move.  True or not perception will probably not change and this'll be a blot on his tenure as commissioner. 

If this had been a bad trade I'd say this would have been a bad deal and the NBA did the right thing.  As is, it was a good deal for New Orleans and would have helped the franchise rebuild.  Now they must pursue other trades and there is a good chance they might not get as good a deal.  I will always champion the cause of the small market teams in any sport.  If for no other reason the fans deserve a reason to be excited about the chances of their team. 

But this was a bad move by Stern.  Chris Paul doesn't want to stay in New Orleans.  Even if the Hornets had managed to sign them there were still questions to whether or not they could be competitive with the team around Paul.  With the trade New Orleans would have had a decent starting lineup and could have been a player in the tough Southwest division.  While we've seen the collecting of star players by franchises lead to championships (Celtics, Lakers) there is still no promise of success.  This is a bad move by David Stern and a bad move for the league. 

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