As of this writing, the NBA’s attempts to move disgruntled New Orleans PG Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers appear to have been revived, a situation that deeply offends SB Nation’s Tom Ziller, who cannot help but note such a deal would richly reward Clippers owner Donald Sterling (above), by all accounts, a really awful person.” Yeah, that sounds about right.
Stern didn’t kill the Lakers deal because of basketball reasons or a concern with the Hornets franchise’s value. He did it because letting the Lakers acquired another young superstar on the day the 2011 lockout ended was untenable. Too many owners were too furious, and he was too unwilling to stand up for Jerry Buss’ right to make an aggressive basketball trade.
Here’s the grossest part: CP3 has some power here on account of his ability to decline his player option for 2012-13 and leave whatever teams acquires him as a free agent in July. That’s why players like him, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony make their intentions known with regards to which teams they’ll re-sign with — it allows for a mutually beneficial break-up, insomuch as a break-up between a team and a talent like Paul can ever be mutually beneficial. By trading Paul to the Clippers, a landing spot the point guard certainly wouldn’t pick for himself (no offense to Blake Griffin), Stern puts CP3 in the position of signing to play for Sterling long-term, or giving up $25 million to flee.
Stern has refused to hold owners accountable as he’s done for players and coaches. One of those players — who just happens to be on the players’ union’s executive committee, for what it’s worth — is now being consigned to play for the most vile, unchecked of those owners, or take a $25 million haircut. How’s that for fair?