December 13, 2011

The NBA is a goddamn joke

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Believe me, if I could I would use a lot stronger, more vulgar words in the title to describe the state of the NBA right now, but I did actually want this post to stay up here. So, take what I wrote up there, toss in some four-letter words and you’d be nearly half way there to how I currently feel about the state of basketball.

While I could rail on about how they just lost two months worth of play and solved almost nothing. But I’m sure you’ve already read about that elsewhere.

I could tear into them about how they jam-packed 66 games into 124 days, gave every team at least one back-to-back-to-back stretch and some seven-games-in-nine-days marathons, yet still kept the all-star back. But not right now – there’s plenty of time to ream the schedule makers when players are being rested and the injury lists grow to unheard-of proportions.

Or how about the fact that two superstars have already demanded trades – one a trade to a specific team – while they still have a season left on their contracts. But was anyone really surprised that this sort of thing would still happen?

Nope. Today’s post is about how ridiculous David Stern and the NBA are acting with this whole Chris Paul fiasco.

Let’s just start with the fact that it is a massive failure when any league has to own one of its own teams. That’s the case with the New Orleans Hornets right now and with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes – a subject for a future blog post should the league not sell after this season, as they have said they would even if it involved moving the financially failing club.

So, for all the wrasslin’ fans out there, or anyone who even knows a little bit about the WWE, David Stern is playing the evil commissioner almost as well as Vince McMahon did.

He’s vetoing trades and undermining Hornets’ GM Dell Demps’ authority left and right. He’s allowing teams to discuss trades up to the point that they’re sent to the league – like any deal – and shot down. And he’s hurting his entire league by allowing rumours to circulate about stars being moved, essentially making them feel unwanted by their current squads and then forced to show up to training camp the next day.

Twice Paul has been on the verge of being sent to Los Angeles – to both the Lakers and Clippers – and twice the NBA has stepped in and shot down the attempts. Twice the deals were actually fair and twice they failed.

Hell, for the Lakers trade, they actually said that the deal would be “bad for the league.” Are you serious? Putting a star in a big market while also helping two mid-market teams? How is that bad for the league?

It is completely unrealistic for the NBA to think that they can get anything more for Chris Paul in this market than what they’ve already been offered. With CP3’s list of teams he would actually re-sign with, there is already a very limited market for him. That market shrinks when you add what the NBA considers a fair value for him.

The league should never step in to stop a team from making player moves, even when it does own it. The last time I can remember the NHL vetoing something was when the Devils tried that super-sneaky, super-long deal with Ilya Kovalchuk that fudged his cap number severely. Has Gary Bettman ever had anything to say about the Coyotes making a trade? Not that I know of and not that he should.

Ultimately, David Stern has damaged his legacy in the past year more than anyone could have thought. When we think about Stern’s rule of the NBA, this sad last chapter will leave the foulest of tastes. And there’s no way that he can possibly recover.

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki

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