No matter what David Stern says, the controversy surrounding the Chris Paul trade(s) started because he was initially going to the Los Angeles Lakers, the league's marquee franchise. As Dan Gilbert's strongly worded letter showed, small-market clubs still harbor a good deal of animosity towards their big-market colleagues. It's not too surprising either, because the dynamic between those franchises is what caused the lockout in the first place.
In the NBA's perfect world, that first veto would have solved this problem entirely. Unfortunately, CP3 now finds himself with the Clippers, who, awful franchise history aside, just happen to play in the same city and building as the Hollywood Lakers. With Paul and Griffin, the Clippers could become the league's new "it" team and drive even more attention to L.A. Those are the kinds of changes that create new brands for a franchise and eventually turn them into destinations for free agents. We're a ways away from that outcome, and it's by no means a sure thing (Paul's knee is not the most dependable body part in the NBA), but it's possible to imagine the Clippers eventually becoming a second powerhouse in Los Angeles. And, if that happens, Gilbert's complaints will have caused exactly the outcome he tried to avoid the first time.Read More »from Did David Stern just create another big-market powerhouse?