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Dictator David Stern Blocks Chris Paul to Los Angeles Lakers Trade: Fan Reaction
On the heels of a lockout that has left fans as embittered as they are skeptical about the NBA, David Stern's most recent power play ventures into more serious territory, calling into question the league's credibility and business ethics.
As if his usually cocky, dictatorial ways were not toxic enough, the NBA Commissioner has now nixed a deal that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets and Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Lamar Odom to the New Orleans Hornets.
Apparently, some of the small market owners that fought furiously for "competitive balance" during the lockout negotiations objected to the trade and pushed Papa Stern to reject it.
League spokesman Tim Frank said, "…League office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons."
It would be a travesty to allow the Lakers to acquire Chris Paul in the apparent trade being discussed.
This trade should go to a vote of the 29 owners of the Hornets.
Over the next three seasons this deal would save the Lakers approximately $20 million in salaries and approximately $21 million in luxury taxes. That $21 million goes to non-taxpaying teams and to fund revenue sharing.
I cannot remember ever seeing a trade where a team got by far the best player in the trade and saved over $40 million in the process. And it doesn't appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard. (They would also get a large trade exception that would help them improve their team and/or eventually trade for Howard.) When the Lakers got Pau Gasol (at the time considered an extremely lopsided trade) they took on tens of millions in additional salary and luxury tax and they gave up a number of prospects (one in Marc Gasol who may become a max-salary player).
I just don't see how we can allow this trade to happen.
I know the vast majority of owners feel the same way that I do.
When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?
Funny, I am not seeing very many "basketball reasons" in this e-mail. No, it seems the focus here is millions of dollars in salaries, taxes and revenue sharing, further proof that the only competition Gilbert and his brigade of victimized billionaires care about is the NBA superstar market.
Also, is there not a conflict of interest when the 29 other teams—the competition—own one?
Hornets GM Dell Demps found a trade that made his franchise competitive considering the circumstances—Martin, Scola and Odom are a formidable nucleus and adequate compensation for Paul—but somehow Stern and the rest of the league were able to prevent Demps from extracting value from Chris Paul's exit?
To secure luxury taxes?
To punish big market teams?
To forbid stars from dictating their destinies?
At the Hornets' expense?!
Whatever the case may be, the entire situation reeks of filthiest kind of corruption and rubs salt on fans' open wounds.
After a career of bullying players and coaches, mishandling lockout negotiations, dishing out draconian fines and managing a cheating referee scandal, this is how Stern launches the 2011-12 NBA season.
Frankly, I think Stern, the league and owners are too comfortable exploiting fans' love basketball, and at this rate, it won't be long until Stern's power drunk, small town mayor routine costs him his job.
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