Friday, December 09, 2011

12/09 (CP3 vs. Stern) Quickie

I'm appalled by what David Stern did yesterday.

Nullifying the Hornets' trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers is, in my mind, the lowest moment for the league in its modern, post-merger history. Worse than the Malice at the Palace. Worse than Donaghy. So much worse than The Decision. And very much worse than either lockout.

Was I happy about the Lakers' acquiring the best point guard in the game? Not at all. It was a bit dispiriting, actually. But not to the point that I wanted to see it nullified! I hated the Decision, too, and yet watching the Heat fail was one of the most exciting, wonderful feelings many NBA fans could have (in the absence of their own team winning).

The Lakers would have been spectacular, but there is no guarantee they would have just waltzed to a title (or traded Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard). It would have been interesting to see if their thin frontcourt could have handled the rigors of the playoffs. It would have been interesting to see if CP3's knee could hold up. It would have been interesting to see if Paul and Kobe could co-exist. (And, frankly, it was a pretty good deal for New Orleans -- as good as they'd get.)

The point is that it is an overreach of massive proportions that David Stern cancelled the trade. However fans felt about the trade, Stern's move pierced the suspension of disbelief (or, put another way, the belief) that is core to fans' relationship with the sport.

This is way, way worse than the lockout. I don't think Stern appreciated the magnitude of the blowback he's going to face today. (And if he does appreciate it, what does THAT say?) Worst of all, we don't know where things go from here. It's like the league has been tazed by its own commissioner.

-- D.S.

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