December 09, 2011
Late Thursday night, when the Chris Paul trade cancellation fervor was at its apex, Ken Berger and others tweeted that Chris Paul was unlikely to show up at Hornets camp on Friday, thereby starting the NBA's first holdout in many years. The same went for Lamar Odom with respect to the Lakers. It was a scary proposition, not because it was unjustified, but because it could have set the scene for a serious challenge to the way the NBA treats its superstar players.
Apparently we have avoided that nuclear winter in the near term. According to various accounts, Paul and Odom have both arrived at their respective camps. Here's the CP3 news from Brett Martel of the Associated Press:
The 26-year-old Paul was seen walking in the training facility Friday wearing a black Hornets practice jersey, and he appeared to be in good spirits.
Odom reported to the Lakers practice facility Friday over 90 minutes late for the first day of training camp. [...]
The Lakers were patient with Odom Friday, saying they understood why he was staying away, before he showed up.
"Any conversations we have with him on this will be handled internally," said Lakers vice president of public relations John Black.
That situation sounds a bit more complicated, but it's more likely that the Lakers are just being more up-front about the issues at hand. Odom has had his trust breached, although it's not necessarily the Lakers' fault. Trades are rough, particularly for a sensitive person like Odom who has loved his time in Los Angeles. That his status is now in such flux can only make things more difficult. Of course, it shouldn't be the Lakers' job to fix it, because it was David Stern's mistake. But when a boss screws up, it usually falls upon his underlings to do the dirty work and patch things up.
Or, perhaps, as Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday afternoon, the resumed talks between the Lakers, Hornets and Rockets will get a deal done that's more to Stern's liking. Or not. It's hard to know with a man who seems fine with applying rules arbitrarily.