Dec 15, 2011, 8:01 AM EDT
The Los Angeles Lakers lost a battle for a superstar with the Los Angeles Clippers. The last time that happened… come on, that never happened before.
But now Chris Paul is a Clipper and the Lakers are pissed off.
Not really at the Clippers, who Lakers fans never had a rivalry with — they view the Clippers more like your annoying college roommate. And not with CP3, who just wanted out of a bad situation and to find a good one.
The Lakers and their fans are pissed at David Stern.
The Lakers had a trade in place to acquire Paul in a three team trade until Stern killed the deal because
small market owners complained that the Lakers were getting better of basketball reasons. Now they see CP3 trade go through and, while you can argue it’s better for a rebuilding Hornets team, you can’t argue that the first trade didn’t give New Orleans real assets. Here is what Mike Bresnahan wrote at the Los Angeles Times.
The Lakers were privately fuming Wednesday, according to a person with knowledge of their front office, when Paul, the New Orleans point guard, ended up in Los Angeles six days after the NBA vetoed the Lakers’ trade for him.
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak declined to comment through a spokesman but earlier this week said the NBA’s blockade was “completely unexpected.”
Lakers fans have a right to be ticked — but then they need to get over it.
Yes, Stern’s actions in killing the first trade were political not basketball related. It was about appeasing small market owners (and a few big market ones) because those owners wish they had big-move poker playing style of the Lakers.
But the fact is the bigger and better fish — Dwight Howard — is still out there. As great as Paul is, Howard is better and a better fit for Los Angeles. He has to become the focus now. Land him and all is forgotten. Don’t get him and Lakers fans are going to have a lot more anger.