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Dec 10, 2011

The Chris Paul Veto



Regarding the Chris Paul trade, last minute about-face, I have 2 words for the NBA executives: Karma and Serendipity.

Karma

In this case I believe the Lakers would have maintained mediocrity with Chris Paul. By the time they could build up a team again Kobe Bryant will either be retired or relegated to a veteran support role, which we've already seen begin to take shape this past season. The Lakers would not be in a "win now" situation with this trade, which I think is karma's way of balancing out whatever disservice was done to the Hornets after fostering the CP3 all these years.



On the flipside, the Hornets should be rewarded by karma for doing the right thing with the disgruntled CP3, and getting him to a "contender". This looked to be the case as they were obtaining a world class post player in Luis Scola, the 2011 FIBA Americas MVP, who averaged over 20 points per game and legitimately would become the best player in a Hornets uniform outside of Chris Paul and Alonzo Mourning perhaps of all-time.


Am I forgetting any other Hornets legends?


Serendipity

As a Memphis Grizzlies fan all I can think about is the Pau Gasol trade. Pau would end up in Houston after this trade, which would be interesting as the Grizzlies and little brother Marc would face him 4 times a year instead of twice. The Memphis Grizzlies franchise became a running joke to casual fans and expert analysts alike after they moved Pau to the Lakers in 2008. This was the culmination of 3 years of misery in Memphis, in which we barely eked out 20-win seasons.



I won't belabor the details, but from that trade we know what happened. We swapped a bunch of players and ended up with Marc Gasol and extra cap space to absorb the fat ZBO contract from the Darko Milicic trade. Michael Heisley himself said it's just plain luck, IIRC. "The best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry." These guys need to reread that book. The best thing, as an objective sports fan, to see is the New York Yankees falling on their faces. The best thing to watch is the NBA Finals, Miami Heat getting their tails whipped by the Dallas Mavericks. No, the BEST thing to watch would be the Memphis Grizzlies NBA Finals whipping the Heat or the Knicks, or maybe even the Brooklyn Nets with DWill & D12.

Yes, us small markets drink that Haterade deeply. 10 teams are featured on the NBA's opening day of Christmas. 6 of the 8 final playoff teams will be represented.


Can you guess which second-round playoff team is not playing that day?




Do you care about the small market teams so much NBA? Or was this really about protecting your brand and sheltering the Lakers? Or have you even thought it out that far? Teams with superstars and marketing contracts (Clippers, Knicks, Magic) trump far superior teams without superstars from smaller markets (Hawks, Grizzlies, and Spurs). There's too much at stake for this to have been a petty backlash to Chris Paul for personal grudges. I think we will see the trade and it will reward the Lakers even further because they have all the television contracts and they are the supreme cash cow. Casual fans still think Kobe is the best player in the NBA I'm sure. Remember the two words though: karma and serendipity. I can't wait to see the Hornets play them. I can't wait to see the Lakers fall on their face again… but I have a hard time watching the games on Christmas knowing this league is still operating under lip service and still a slave to the almighty greenback – which trumps any and all "basketball" decisions.

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