The Chris Paul-Lakers situation was more complex than some people think.
When Chris Paul was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers about a decade ago, there was a lot of controversy due to the fact that he had just been a part of a vetoed trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. Commissioner David Stern was the one to reject the trade, which led to a lot of vitriol and confusion at the time. It was as if he was robbing us of an incredible partnership between Kobe Bryant and CP3, which as you can imagine, made fans upset.
During an episode of "All The Smoke" with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Jeanie Buss revealed that the situation was a bit more complex than some people remember. Stern did not veto the trade because it would be bad for the league. Instead, he vetoed it because he was in charge of the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) at the time, and he felt like he wasn't properly consulted before the trade took place.
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"David Stern didn't reject the trade as commissioner," Buss explained. "He rejected the trade as governor of the New Orleans team because he wasn't asked permission to OK the trade. It wasn't the NBA trying to keep the Lakers from Chris Paul, it was David Stern had a responsibility to make sure that it was a trade that he would approve. So now he just calls off the trade and wants everybody to cool down because now you've got a lot of teams thinking there was some funny business going on, but it wasn't."
During those years, the league had ownership of the New Orleans franchise and Stern was tasked with looking after their best interests. The trade with the Lakers was seen as extremely lopsided and Stern felt like he simply couldn't let the Hornets get the short end of the stick in such a blatant fashion.
While it's a move that remains unpopular, there is no denying it ended up helping out the Hornets franchise for the better.
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