NBA commissioner David Stern‘s decision to nix a trade Thursday that would have sent point guard Chris Paul from the league-owned New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers has been roundly mocked.
But nobody has been as blunt as one anonymous NBA executive, who was quoted at length in a report on Yahoo! Sports.
“We were all told by the league he was a tradeable player, and now they’re saying that [Hornets general manager Dell Demps] doesn’t have the authority to make the trade?” the unnamed executive told Adrian Wojnarowski. “Now they’re saying that Dell is an idiot, that he can’t do his job. [Expletive] this whole thing.
“David’s drunk on power, and he doesn’t give a [expletive] about the players, and he doesn’t give a [expletive] about the hundreds of hours the teams put in to make that deal.”
The deal, which would have sent Paul to L.A., Pau Gasol to Houston and a package including Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and a first-round pick to New Orleans, was vetoed when a number of owners reportedly complained that it would upset the competitive balance of the league.
Our friend the unnamed executive felt there were more important considerations than the owners’ feelings, though. He compared this trade to the 2008 deal that sent Gasol to L.A. in exchange for Kwame Brown and some draft picks; that trade was widely viewed as a complete fleece job, though the other owners didn’t make a peep then.
The fallout from the LeBron James fiasco, however, clearly has them on edge.
“How do the Lakers explain this to Odom? How does Houston deal with the guys it just tried to trade? Scola and Martin are going to be pissed at them, and who knows how long that takes to get over? Explain to me how the league kills this Pau Gasol deal, but allows Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol?
“To me, this makes the league feel like it’s rigged, that Stern just does whatever Stern wants to do. He’s messed up the competitive balance of this league a lot worse by killing the deal because you’ve completely destroyed the planning that New Orleans and Houston did and left them in shambles over this. I’ve never been so discouraged about this league, never so down.
“I mean, come on. Chris Paul is leaving New Orleans in 66 games. He’s gone. And what’s Dell Demps, and that franchise, going to have to show for it?”
Photo of the day
Paul didn’t like this ref’s call. Chances are, he likes Stern’s call even less.
Photo via Flickr/Maniac Moses
Quote of the day
“This is a very difficult and painful day. I love the game, I love the Portland Trail Blazers and I love our fans, but after consulting with my doctors, I will seek a determination that I’ve suffered a career ending injury, pursuant to the rules of the collective bargaining agreement.”
— Blazers guard Brandon Roy, announcing in a statement that he will retire at 27 years old because of chronic problems with his knees
Tweet of the day
Hopefully, Stern stays out of the way with this one.