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Wait… what!? That can’t be true.

That was my initial reaction to the news that Commissioner Stern had exercised his power to be as brainless (and irresponsible) as his little Grinch-heart so desired. And while much of this made-for-TV drama has centered around Chris Paul, Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol, this really has nothing to do with them, or the three teams directly involved.

The last 5+ months of extensive (and mostly inept) labor meetings impersonated a battle built primarily around greed.

But that wasn’t it at all.

Had it been about money, the player’s willingness to give up hundreds of millions of dollars in salaries would have ended the lockout months ago. More than dollar signs, the owners wanted the power to control and limit player movement – something they believed would allow them to improve the competitive balance of the league and enrich the plummeting value of some smaller market teams.

In hindsight, the lockout was probably closer to 10% about money, and 90% about power, which doesn’t sound so bad when you realize that yesterday’s decision by Stern was 0% about money (or the best interest of the Hornets) and 100% about power.

If it was about money… your second biggest media market (L.A.) just got bigger with the addition of another superstar. Cha-ching.

If it was about the best interest of the Hornets… you’re losing Chris Paul at season’s end (no matter what). The Lakers just offered $.75 on the dollar, along with the added bonus of clearing enough cap space to significantly improve in the near future. Even David Kahn would see the logic in this (wait, maybe he wouldn’t).

Yesterday’s events were very simple: Stern capitalized on an opportunity to employ his power and send a message to the players. While that may not be entirely surprising, here’s what is:

Stern is a self-aware individual. He knew the backlash would be severe. He knew it would further alienate the owners from the players. He knew he would have to make a statement and answer the multitude of questions from the media. He knew the fans would be in an absolute uproar. He weighed all of that and still said:

“It’s worth it to me.”

And with that, welcome back NBA! You’ll never quite be the same again…

  • Elvisaaronpetrosian

    David Stern needs to understand that he
    cant control players, I understand he wants to have a balanced teams,
    but guess what both Dwight and cp3 are free agents and they will walk
    and both of those teams will lose big. I am tired of hearing from these
    small market team owners when they were buying the teams they should of
    done there home work I mean come on who wants to play for the (Bucks,
    Memphis, Sacramento, Hornets and ETC. Super Stars want to go to big
    markets that will never change. So instead of making the league look bad
    and make 11,000,000 Lakers fans mad he should review his decision. Also
    Mr Mark Cuban you sir are an Idiot because you were over the cap last
    year and what happened ? you won and the only reason you are against
    this is because you know as well as I do that you will never win another
    championship again in your lifetime and Dan Gilbert you need to grow-up
    why are you mad because the Lakers can make better moves then you can? I
    mean you did have Lebron for 7 years and we saw what you did. Grow up
    and get a life.

    • Mzupon

      To be fair, Cuban is willing to be over the cap and pay the luxury tax for his own team. He does not want to pay the 1/31 extra tax for the Hornets to be over the cap. If the NBA can’t find a buyer for NOLA, then they should contract the team.

  • David2831g

    Conflict of Interest is as clear as day. I hope this cost him his job.

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      Well I’m with you on the first part. He should let the Hornets do whatever they want. The Hornets wanted to do this deal and he stepped in and made a decision on behalf of the league. Why?! The Lakers would have had KB, CP and an ailing Andrew Bynum..  That’s not an 82-0 team!! Why interfere?! This is the part I hate. Everyone in the group wanted to do the deal, and Stern shut it down. How F’d is that?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=654442922 Richard Cappetto

    So its OK for Miami to have 4 superstars but the Lakers can’t have 2?????

    • Russell Grant

      The Heat have won once.  We have one several times.  Besides Dan Gilbert is waiting for that luxury tax money from the Lakers.  So, no we can’t have superstars plural.  That would mean we would dominate the west… as always.

    • Youngswag31

      The reason being is because Bron and Bosh were aquired via free agency so there was absolutely nothing Stern or anyone could do..plus this is Stern pretty much showing the players that at the end of the day he’s running the league!!! One more thing..What Miami did last season is exactly what Stern is trying to prevent..Also the NBA owns the Hornets so once there star attraction heads west to LA LA land that team is gonna be worth as much as LeBron’s game in the 4th qtr of the finals..

      • http://twitter.com/namepeace William J Haynes III

        Bosh was packaged in a sign and trade.

  • Smileydaht

    aye if they coul let lebron who was the star of cavs go to the heats why chris paul the star of the hornets cant be traded smh

  • Eddie Sprintpcs

    Stern is full of shit….. Hope he loose his job!! Let someone else do a real job, not try to manipulate players and teams!!!

  • Russell Grant

    I think it’s obvious what needs to happen.  Chris Paul needs to defect.  Leave Nola in the middle of the night, show up at Staples Center and request amnesty from the Buss family.

  • Ronin99

    David Stern is a rat with glasses. I hope he loses his job then eats shit and die!!!

  • Touching_Myself

    Just 2 letters for you stern (you don’t deserve any caps)…”F. U!”

  • Alfredo_medina18

    stern rules…..

  • Obieshore

    NBA fans should greet him @ the games with a good rendition of ” Sterns Sucks”

  • Marianosalenga