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(cont'd.)

Of course, the scarier reading of the veto is what Gilbert pretty much came out and said, that owners don't want another superteam. So now you have a league actively picking winners and losers. Yes, owners veto deals all the time, but regular owners aren't the NBA itself, and regular owners don't veto deals to stop other teams from getting good at their own team's expense. If they did, if all the owners banded together and said, "hey, no trades to the Lakers, they're too good already," you'd have a problem with that, as would the courts. Well, that's very nearly what happened here, and it's precisely what Gilbert suggested should happen. At this point, anything the league can do with Paul is tainted. If they give him to the Clippers, how do I know that Stern isn't just trying to manufacture the next Phoenix Suns? If he goes to Boston, maybe Stern's trying to cook up a Lakers-Celtics rematch. Now owners are speculating the league cooked the Billups amnesty bidding. What are the effects of this on the Howard deal? Was the league trying to prevent him from ending up in LA by keeping Paul from the Lakers and thereby making that team less attractive to Howard? Once the league intervenes like this anywhere, people's confidence in the legitimacy of everything is shaken. The next five seasons, in some minds, are going to be played under a "what if Paul was in LA" asterisk. The veto truly is all of the things the people in your list of favorite descriptions of the veto say it is.

3 years ago on NBA Ballroom Blitz: Hey, Mrs. Lincoln, How Was The Show?

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"This is the NBA. It’s a league that had its championship series on tape delay two and a half decades ago. It’s a league that had to survive a widespread coke problem. It’s a league that features insane contracts given on a regular basis, which will never stop no matter what is changed to the CBA. It’s the league of The Punch, the ABA, of Planet Lovetron, of the frozen envelopes, of lottery balls to determine franchise fates, of t-shirt guns, and EV-ERY-BOD-Y-CLAP-YO-HANDS."

None of that, with the exception of the frozen envelopes, and the frozen envelopes didn't happen, compares to this. None of that other stuff goes to whether I can watch games and believe that their outcomes are the product of a legitimate competitive process, rather than a league-imposed fix. The veto is about one of two things. (It's not about sale value. The Hornets have no sale value if they fail to make a deal. Paul is leaving and all they would have is their own first round draft pick to rebuild with, late lottery at best.) If Cuban's to be believed, it's about the teams trying to stop guys from forcing their way off of small-market teams and getting to keep their Bird rights. That's what the lockout was about, he says. Perhaps it was, but the owners failed to win that in the lockout. They gave the players 2 more years of being able to pull this kind of deal; in return the players signed the CBA. This was actually one of the sticking points of the negotiation, and you better believe that the union asked for those 2 years in order to protect the stars of the 2012 free agent class. They were THINKING OF CHRIS PAUL when they wrote this deal. Now the league comes and says, as owners of the Hornets we're going to take, with respect to Chris Paul at least, what we couldn't get at the bargaining table, the very stuff that got you to return to the bargaining table. So that's phenomenally crooked. But that's actually the kinder reading of the veto.

3 years ago on NBA Ballroom Blitz: Hey, Mrs. Lincoln, How Was The Show?

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