Notes from NBA TV’s Game Time Midnight Coverage of the NBA Free Agency Preview Friday, December 9, 2011: Chris Paul Trade Vetoed By David Stern

Saw a tweet about David Stern pulling rank and vetoing trade and I honestly wasn’t shocked. When I heard trade was nixed for BRI…uh I mean “basketball reasons” I laughed out loud. Then an email from Dan Gilbert to David Stern went viral and it all began to make sense…


It would be a travesty to allow the Lakers to acquire Chris Paul in the apparent trade being discussed.

This trade should go to a vote of the 29 owners of the Hornets.

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. And it doesn’t appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard (They would also get a large trade exception that would help them improve their team and/or eventually trade for Howard.) When the Lakers got Pau Gasol (at the time considered an extremely lopsided trade) they took on tens of millions in additional salary and luxury tax and they gave up a number of prospects (one in Marc Gasol who may become a max-salary player).

I just don’t see how we can allow this trade to happen.

I know the vast majority of owners feel the same way that I do.

When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?

Please advise….

Dan G.”

If Gilbert and others conspired to stop this trade, isn’t that some sort of collusion? Think about it.

Remember Dan Gilbert is the guy who built three casinos on LeBron’s back and cried like a little punk when LeBron bounced. The hatred of LeBron in the aftermath was absurd and writers like me and others began to speak real rap instead of regurgitated LBJ hatred (I’ll have more on Gilbert soon) that became the focus…and ultimately a distraction.

Lockout happens. The NPA is widely scrutinized nationally, ownership robs the players of everything but their jocks in “handshake deal”, Chris Paul trade hits the news, Lakers fans begin shining their rings and Stern says basically nah I’m not having it.

Still think Bryant Gumbel was talking shit?

Look if you had a shot to play in LA or some small market city what would you do? Owners in the aforementioned cities know players won’t sign free agent contracts to play in towns where nothing is big except the size of the cars they drive, so despite coming to an agreement to begin training camps today, ownership essentially said get down or lay down.

It’s time for the contraction discussion. Seriously. Small market owners knew what they were getting into when they purchased teams not nestled in Gotham City and Hollywood. Don’t cry now.

Owners do not (as a whole) want players bouncing all around the league to major cities as soon as their contracts are up. The labor force would have too much control in their eyes. Despite LeBron creating a new financial market for the league based on villainy,  ownership doesn’t give a damn. This is about them. This isn’t about protecting the integrity of the league as you will hear all day. Think people. Maybe now, fans will begin to see past the players when evaluating performance in a more objective scope. That is reality. Perception is reality is not reality. Throw that dumbing down misnomer in the trash. The actual facts are what we must begin to scrutinize…the right way. Owners are spoiled because they basically control the media covering their teams. You might hear ownership criticism here and there but we all know who gets the brunt of scrutiny…the players. Don’t give me the cop out…’well the players are what we see’ bullcrap either. You’re smarter than that.

Ownership is just as accountable. Why did the NBA buy out New Orleans again?

While I’m at it, check how many fans, pundits, writers…hell whomever…slam the amount of money Albert Pujols left St. Louis for after having so much success as a Cardinal. Baseball salaries are rarely spoken in the same context as basketball salaries. Who do you think makes more the top MLB  stars or their NBA counterparts?

Do the research.

Chris Paul probably has a look on his face right this very second similar to the one he has above. The deal was actually good for New Orleans (look at the components and consider how much better the team would have been with more parts).

CP3 probably will get traded to Minnesota (as some sort of punishment…tongue in cheek) or some city similar, but can you blame him for being upset? His legacy is his.  We all know damn well he’s not signing an extension no matter where he goes because he wants to choose where he lands…and that’s his right…right?

What will stop him now from signing with Miami after this year?

This all will get crazier before it becomes sane and with the league officially back in effect today, Chris Paul won’t be the last player mad and considering a lawsuit.

I tried to tell the players to get with the NPA…

Oh well…now what are you going to do? Make Muhammad Ali statements?

David Stern if you are so hell bent on restoring competitive balance, suggest to your bosses to pay more attention to the daily duties of their franchises instead of doing whatever their pockets allow while the GM’s they employ mess up their investments with stupid ass deals even someone not a fan of the league would say is dumb…

If you didn’t want what almost did happen to go down, maybe you should have canceled the season instead of caving to public pressure to get a deal done…a deal that benefits ownership mind you.

Is this a power play to dilute the league wide influence of agents…specifically firms like CAA (LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony)? Of course.

Make up your cotdamn minds because you’re looking really out of pocket right now. Demps made a smart deal and for once a professional sports trade benefited everyone but…I guess too much like right is way too wrong in this bizarro world.

So…if Dwight Howard gets his request to be traded to New Jersey, will you veto that trade Commissioner Stern?

If you’re gonna wield so much power over the world’s best athletes at least be able to grab net.



NBA TV’s Game Time

Vince Cellini (NBA TV host), David Aldridge (NBA TV/TNT reporter), Matt Harpring (NBA TV analyst), Sekou Smith (


NBA TV’s Harpring comments on the three-team trade involving New Orleans Hornets Chris Paul going to the L.A. Lakers but fell through tonight: “I don’t even know if this deal would’ve made the Lakers better.”


NBA TV’s Aldridge comments on Shane Battier joining the Miami Heat and the prospects for success: “I think it works if LeBron James plays power forward.”


Caron Butler comments after agreeing to a 3-year, $24 million deal to play with the L.A. Clippers: “I was looking for the best fit for me right now.”


Butler on the prospect of playing with Blake Griffin: “It’s going to be fun. It’s a highlight reel just waiting to happen night-in and night-out.”


Aldridge comments on the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard and whether or not he will be in Orlando through the entire season: “The Magic still believe there is a chance – a small chance – that Dwight will stay.”


Harpring comments on the Magic’s Dwight Howard: “I don’t think there is a chance Dwight Howard stays in Orlando.”


Harpring comments on the L.A. Clippers DeAndre Jordan: “There are things he does that you can’t teach.”


Aldridge comments on the L.A. Clippers DeAndre Jordan and other teams’ interest in signing him as a free agent: “There will be offer sheets put on him [but] most people believe the L.A. Clippers will want to keep that nucleus together.”

6 Responses to “Notes from NBA TV’s Game Time Midnight Coverage of the NBA Free Agency Preview Friday, December 9, 2011: Chris Paul Trade Vetoed By David Stern”

  1. Corin Brown says:

    Good stuff, Mike.

    The NBA is an abject mess – a gaping, festering hatchet wound and this new CBA (have the union and the owners even ratified this thing yet, by the way?) is a band-aid – not one of those big gauzy pads either, I’m talking about those tiny little circles you cover shaving cuts with.

    You’re correct that there are too many teams – but that’s never gonna change. You’re also correct that there are cities that players don’t want to live in – that’s also never gonna change unless all the teams make the same $ and have uniform salary structures like the NFL does. You’re also correct that the top stars are grossly underpaid, considering their value to the league. However, I think your comments are a bit off the mark when you say the media ignores this lack of proportional compensation for the big guys (Kobe, Bron, etc.) I listened to a ton of Simmons, Stephen A., Whitlock and Broussard during the lockout and each of them (especially Simmons, who POUNDED this point every chance he could on his frequent podcasts during the lockout) said that any CBA had to have a mechanism to pay the handful of epic stars what they were really worth $50-$100/year.

    As for your MLB comparison, I’m not sure people rip any player salaries in any sport except as they relate to the salaries in the NFL. Compared to NFL players, MLB and NBA players are soft athletes who don’t put their lives on the line every time they punch the clock like NFL players do. In this discussion, NFL players deserve to be paid way more than baseball players or basketball players. If fans don’t like the MLB and NBA salaries, they’re still showing up at the stadium and still buying the TV packages and still buying the gear.

    The NBA is irrevocably broken. The only answer is your NPA, Mike. But unless the players finally get smart and excercise some power and leverage, that’s never happening either.

  2. Corin Brown says:

    Haha! I think Kobe and LeBron are worth a little more than $50-$100/year. Try $50M-$100M/year. Sorry for the gaffe and the pessimism.

  3. Julius says:

    Pro athletes are such whiny little brats. The “I don’t wanna live here” problem is easily fixed. Buy a modest home in the city where you play and don’t want to live, as well as a nice home where you do want to live. They can afford it. Problem solved. The whining comes from the entitlement that money buys, I guess.

  4. Julius shut the hell up. That makes no sense.

  5. RBD says:

    Contraction is absolutely an idea whose time has come — in baseball, the NBA, NHL and everything except the NFL. Its recent season-ticket drive notwithstanding, New Orleans can’t support an NBA team and an NFL club. No Fortune 500 companies in town, shrinking TV market, etc.
    I thought about collusion, too. One consideration here is different, however: All the other owners are co-owners of the Hornets. (That’s a bizarre situation right there.) So technically, when they’re talking among themselves, they’re not colluding; they’re having a board meeting.
    That’s an obviously intolerable situation. What a mess.

  6. Anthony Boston says:

    I know how to help players heal from sprained ankles