It was the one-year anniversary of the eruption of Mount Stern, a moment when he made an unprecedented decision in the immediate aftermath of the settlement that ended the 2011 NBA lockout.
Commissioner David Stern squashed a trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-team deal with the New Orleans Hornets and the Houston Rockets.
Lakers fans were infuriated, Stern’s motives were questioned, and we were all left with an even clearer understanding of who is the boss, the capo, of the NBA.
The recent Gregg Popovich resting healthy players scandal was yet another moment where the NBA world has been left to question if Stern abuses his power.
A lot of the talk about Stern, his autocratic management style, and his propensity over time to change rules as he goes along has been somewhat reminiscent of Stern’s foible last December. This Popovich fine was ugly and set a new precedent for how coaches are expected by the league to treat national TV games. However, I’m still not sure it was as ugly as giving Hornets brain trust Hugh Weber and Dell Demps autonomy to make the best deal they see fit,and then vetoing the trade because Dan Gilbert and Mark Cuban piped up.
The ironic part about that deal is that it’s known as the vetoed Chris Paul trade, yet out of all the players involved, Paul was affected the least.
Paul was initially dealt to the L.A Lakers in a three-way deal in which the Lakers sent Pau Gasol to Houston, Lamar Odom to New Orleans and Houston sent Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, and Goran Dragic to New Orleans. After the trade was squashed, Paul ended up with the Clippers and young superstar Blake Griffin, able to paint the Clippers as his own blank canvas.
However, the other 5 guys involved, who had to go back to their own teams with their tails between their legs, have had some very diverse and mixed paths since the trade was overturned. I’m going to detail what’s become of the careers of Dragic, Scola, Martin, Odom, and Gasol .