Clippers Acquisition of Paul Reveals Hypocrite Owners, Commissioner

Clippers Acquisition of Paul Reveals Hypocrite Owners, Commissioner


It’s been a bizarre week for Los Angeles Lakers fans. After the announcement last Thursday that Chris Paul would be headed to the Lakers it seemed inevitable that the team was securing its future for the next few years. However, after the vetoing of the trade later that evening the Lakers have been in a free-falling downward spiral.

The worst blow came Wednesday evening with the news that Chris Paul had been traded to the Lakers’ cross-hall rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers. The acceptance of this trade by the NBA and the rest of the owners of the Hornets came as a punch in the gut to the Lakers and their fans.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and ask for pity from the rest of the league. There’s no question that the Lakers have experience more than their fair share of success. In the past decade the team has won five NBA championships, which is more than than any other team in the league (besides the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls) has won in their entire existence.

Still, the precedent that the league set by vetoing the original Chris Paul trade was alarming. But, after Paul’s trade to the Clippers was met with league wide approval it showed the true nature of the owners currently running the New Orleans Hornets.

After the Lakers acquired Paul last week it was met with uproar from some of the small market owners. While Dan Gilbert was the most notable whiner of them all, there’s no doubt that others disapproved of the trade as well. These owners falsely played the tune of league parity and competitive balance, when they were ultimately doing whatever they could to help their own team succeed in the long run.

These owners need to take a step back and look into the mirror. The claim that they want what is best for the league and for the Hornets is laughable. Their priorities lie with their own teams, and have nothing to do with the Hornets or competitive balance in the league as a whole.

Owners like Gilbert, who purchased the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2005, refuse to accept responsibility for the fact that their franchises are inept. While it’s obvious that bigger markets are going to have certain advantages that smaller ones don’t, it doesn’t necessarily prevent a team from succeeding.

If you want an example of this simply look at the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio is one of the lower markets in the NBA, yet managed to control the Western Conference (along with the Lakers) for the last decade. They established this reputation and maintained it by making successful basketball decisions, not by having movie studios down the street from their gym.

What owners like Gilbert refuse to do is accept responsibility for the boneheaded decisions they have made, and look at an excuse like market size to try and explain why their team is consistently in the cellar of the standings. If the role was reversed, and Gilbert was the one signing a major free agent to play for his Cavaliers, there would be no controversy. No letters written in childish fonts.

How do I know? Because Gilbert has behaved in a similar manner before. Before his team tried and failed to keep the best player they’ve ever had, LeBron James, to re-sign, Gilbert reaped the benefits of having a major superstar. But, his inability to hire a talented general manager that could put pieces around James is what ultimately doomed his franchise to another decade of iniquity.

Another small market owner, Michael Jordan of the Charlotte Bobcats, also expressed his displeasure in the original Chris Paul deal. But Jordan also admitted that if given the chance to bring Paul to Charlotte to play for the Bobcats, he would jump on the opportunity.

Of course he would. Any owner would.

Next Page: Owners Hypocrisy Stings Lakers

  • Odamnitssam

    if they were trying to keep chris paul from going to a big market like los angeles (lakers) then why the hell did they let him go to a big market like los angeles (clippers).  #firestern

  • Randallhank

    This is pretty simplistic analysis.  Yes there is a conflict of interest of sorts in the 29 owners collectively owning a 30th team.  But the NBA was basically forced into this situation and is trying to resolve it as quickly as possible by finding a suitable owner.

    The rejection of the Chris Paul/Lakers trade had nothing to do with the Lakers per se, but rather with getting appropriate assets in return for a small market team.  This involves some combination of high draft picks, and young talent that is contractually under team control via either a rookie contract or restricted free agency.  As fewer NBA veterans are willing to consider taking full market value in all but a few markets, it is important that when stars try to dictate where they will play the team parts with assets that are valuable going forward.  

    The fact that even an NBA blog author in a major city seems unaware of these realities is not surprising, but also quite clearly demonstrates what the issue is to begin with.  It is also why the main stream media (based largely in major markets themselves), were all too quick to condemn David Stern and Dan Gilbert.

    Given what the Hornets were able to extract from the Clippers, many of them have backtracked on their criticism of Stern, but Dan Gilbert deserves an apology because he turned out to be 100% right.

    • rizzle

      This trade had everything to do with the Lakers. They didn’t want Paul dictating where he wanted to go (LA), yet he ends up in… LA. Now, it is the other team, but they are doing the exact opposite of what they were trying to prevent the Lakers from doing. They didn’t want superstars all going to one team. But now, with Chris Paul being a Clipper now and for the next 2 seasons, along with Griffin, it can draw players to them and can make a big market team.

      Now, a big market team has nothing to do with how many championships they’ve won. Look at NY, Miami, etc, etc. The fact of the matter is Chris Paul ended up in a big market (LA), and now a second big market can be created in LA, it being the Clippers. There was no basketball reasons at all. This was simply just not wanting to let the Lakers make their own super team.

      On a different note, ESPN and Yahoo! need to shut up about who is the king of LA. The Lakers are the kings. Always have, always will be. Once the Clippers win 16 titles, then come talk. Until then, shut up about who runs LA. It’s the Lakers.

  • Donovan Capone

    David Stern is an official Laker hater period. If Miami can have a big three, New York can have a big three, why can’t LA? My point proves that he didn’t discriminate any other team besides the Los Angeles Lakers. He definitely showed that along with another hater such as Dan Gilbert. It’s alright though, CP3 is going to be a free agent next year coming up. Lakers will definitely acquire him from free agency. #Lakers Nation #Fuck Stern

  • Garrett_schaeffer

    This sports writer is spot on. San Antonio. Dan Gilbert. Management of teams and expecting handouts from the league or crying cause u are in a small market…. Teams are successful because of personelle in place, drafting, trading and overall business decisions. The Lakers have been successful in making the playoffs in what? 57/62 seasons? That just doesn’t happen by accident. Stern is a piece of garbage and in no way right to say he wants a balanced league. How about Boston a few years ago? He was thrilled to see them get a big three and no doubt loved that they won that year… East coast bias and total anti Lakers success. I can’t stand the NBA right now and Stern has definitely been the commish for too damn long. These things need to be “termed” and defnitely not run by short fat balled lawyers who probably have never step foot on the court to actually play the game, let alone manage a team.

  • Jazanne007

    @ randallhank •
    Dan Gilbert deserves an apology?!?! how about you and “Dan” along with owner of BOBCATS MJ (Mr. Jackoff) take your thumbs out of mouths and shove it up your ASS!!! besides the facts that everybody had mentioned, here is another FACT!!! along with the crying bitches, Micheal Jordan is just afraid that KOBE will possibly get more rings than his OBSOLETE ass…… PERiOD!!!
    typical LAKER hater!!!

  • Westkoastprince

    You as the writer are correct about everything you said except the clippers offered a better deal. The only good player in the new deal is eric. The league and david “stupid” stern passed on 4 excellent players for 1 descent one and 2 other washups, kamen is garbage and the other dude wuts his name??? Oh it doesnt matter he’s weak, could never stack up against odom dragic skola and so on. This is jus another way for the league to tell teams as well as the fans that we as fans and the players mean NOTHING to basketball. Well sorry to tell ya david “stupid”, but without the fans you couldnt pay for a mcdonalds happy meal, without the players theres no basketball fir the fans. Players and fans go hand in hand. You are just a plague on the league and EVERYONE cannot wait to see you go. David “stupid” you are a contradictory bastard and you and your mother should be ashamed. Hate to hear what your father would have said. You owe the leagues players and fans real damn big commish.

  • Onelivas

    I love how ESPN who is basically in the pocket of the NBA due to it’s contracts and instead of looking at reallity which is David Sturn playing GOD and questioning the trade, there stupid story line is who’s the better team in LA, only reason that happened is because David and other owners are fraud…ive had enough of this BS its like watching Vince mc Mann running the WWE…

  • Kim Mathenge

    I’m blaming mitch cupcake & jim Buss and David Stern.  How can you trade odom and get nothing.