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David Stern Proves What a Joke the NBA Is

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Rather than celebrating a return of basketball, the NBA, Commissioner David Stern and its owners proved how incompetent, petty and ultimately what jokes they are. After nixing a trade that would have sent New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA made the NHL look like a well-oiled machine.

Under the original trade the Lakers would have received point guard Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets would have received forward Lamar Odom from the Lakers, guards Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic and forward Luis Scola and a 2012 first-round draft pick from the Houston Rockets. The Rockets would have received forward Pau Gasol from the Lakers.

One thing is clear. The only reason the NBA was able to cancel this trade was because they own the Hornets. Simply put, this was a referendum by the small-market owners who have a great amount of penis-envy of the Lakers.

No logical reasons have been given for this cancellation. The first one we heard was from an NBA official who said it was because of “basketball reasons.” Everyone is still trying to decipher what the hell that means.

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Then a couple of hours later Yahoo! Sports generously published an email by everyone’s favorite NBA owner from Cleveland. After calling the trade a “travesty”, Dan Gilbert wrote:

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.

Here’s a sidenote on Gilbert. He made his money as a founder of Quicken Loans one the largest retail mortgage lenders in the country, an industry that has proven in America to be the beacons of truth and enlightenment. So excuse me if I’m not entirely sympathetic with his plight.

Nevertheless, he is right: the Lakers are shedding salary. That might be because they are shedding two of big contracts in Odom and Gasol, neither of whom are merely chopped liver like Gilbert intimated in his email.

Then this morning Stern said that having Paul in New Orleans would be the most valuable option for the Hornets. Eh? How does keeping a player who is not going to re-sign with a team make that team more valuable?

What’s clear was the initial vote of confidence given to Hornets’ general manager Dell Demps has been obliterated by this veto. Demps did his best to get as much value as he could in giving away Paul. And this was how he was rewarded.

What amazes me is that someone was actually able to talk Demps out of resigning.

One thing is clear from all of this bullshit that is coming from the NBA: they have completely gone bat shit. Nothing that comes out of their mouths remotely resembles logic. And ultimately the NHL looks like a gem in comparison. How embarrassing.

But Lakers’ fans, don’t worry. At least the NBA allowed the Lakers to sign Jason Kapono.