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  • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

    [quote user="bigblue4417"]From Michael Wilbon:



    Unless the appeal filed by the teams
    involved in Thursday's proposed trade (or a lawsuit reportedly being
    considered by Paul) reverses the decision, the league now apparently
    will allow free agency only as long as enough players to its liking are
    willing to sign up to play in Portland, New Orleans, Charlotte, Salt
    Lake City, Milwaukee, etc. You think Stern would have stopped this trade
    had Paul been dealt for essentially the same package to, oh, Indiana?
    Or Memphis? Or Oklahoma City? There isn't a chance in hell.</p>

    But
    what stopping this trade does is prevent New Orleans from getting
    players who can help that small-market franchise not only recover, but
    move on. Odom is one of the most versatile frontcourt players in the
    NBA. Scola averaged 18 points and eight rebounds per game last season.
    Martin can get you 20 points a night. Dragic is a suitable backup.
    What's wrong with this deal? Nothing, except the Lakers made it. This
    isn't a heist; it's a deal that's easy to defend if you're looking at it
    from the Hornets' viewpoint. What's more, executives from the Lakers
    and executives from the Hornets made it. Club officials.</p>

    Problem is, there are owners like Cleveland's Dan Gilbert, still whining like a 2-year-old over the departure of LeBron James, who want some sort of guarantee that small-market teams will get their share of free agents.</p>

    We're sure to hear about a conflict of interest, what with the Hornets
    being run by the league and dealing a great player to Los Angeles. So,
    it would be OK for the NBA to trade Paul to a dreadful team, say the
    Timberwolves? The NBA knew there could be the appearance of a conflict
    when it made the decision to run the Hornets. Why should Paul play in
    New Orleans indefinitely? Because management there was incompetent,
    which it was? Because the Knicks -- talk about the pot calling the
    kettle black -- don't like the trade? Since when do owners not involved
    with a trade get to lobby against it? Where in the NBA rules does it say
    other clubs get to whine that the Lakers will be too good again? And
    who stands up to them and says, "Hey you MORONS, it's quite possible the
    Hornets made a good deal here."</p>[/quote]

    haha WIlbon! Thats exactly what I say!
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheeBloodSport/

    Comment


    • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

      [quote user="MattMeyerBud"][quote user="bigblue4417"]
      <DIV class=report>


      The Nets are "closing in" on a contract with Nene.</P></DIV>
      <DIV class=impact>The team reportedly increased the offer to Nene last night, and it sounds like it's possible a deal may get done soon. Considering how fast and furious rumors are flying, there's also a chance a deal doesn't get done at all. Clearly, New Jersey is clearly being aggressive in its approach to improve. </DIV>


      [/quote]

      just went home for lunch and watched sportscenter. They seem pretty hell bent that a deal may get done today for Howard.

      Nene at PF?
      [/quote]</P>


      I like Nene....but, that may be because I think it's awesome when Brazilians go by only 1 name. lol</P>


      Nene HILARIO! that name is funny....arguably HILARIOus.
      -___-</P>
      Oderint Dum Metuant

      It's too bad, I'm too good....

      Comment


      • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

        [quote user="DavenIII"][quote user="lttaylor56"][quote user="bigblue4417"][quote user="dezzzR"][/quote]
        You are not helping the thread by uploading all these gifs. We are going to get more runtime errors.
        [/quote]Girls bouncing are only gifs allowed. True Story.[/quote]

        REQUEST GRANTED


        [/quote]oh dam!!

        Comment


        • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

          Bill Simmons:

          Fact: Of the three teams involved, New Orleans made out the best.
          Repeat: the best. By my calculations, it landed one of the better
          offensive big men in basketball (Luis Scola), one of the better scoring
          2-guards in basketball (Kevin Martin), a playoff-proven forward who can
          play either spot (Lamar Odom), a scoring point guard with upside (Goran
          Dragic), and a 2012 no. 1 pick (via the New York Knicks). Can you do
          better for someone who was leaving in seven months anyway? I hate
          trading superstars, but if you HAVE to trade a superstar? That's pretty
          good.
          https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheeBloodSport/

          Comment


          • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

            [quote user="JPizzack"][quote user="MattMeyerBud"][quote user="bigblue4417"]
            <DIV class=report>


            The Nets are "closing in" on a contract with Nene.</P></DIV>
            <DIV class=impact>The team reportedly increased the offer to Nene last night, and it sounds like it's possible a deal may get done soon. Considering how fast and furious rumors are flying, there's also a chance a deal doesn't get done at all. Clearly, New Jersey is clearly being aggressive in its approach to improve. </DIV>


            [/quote]

            just went home for lunch and watched sportscenter. They seem pretty hell bent that a deal may get done today for Howard.

            Nene at PF?
            [/quote]</P>


            I like Nene....but, that may be because I think it's awesome when Brazilians go by only 1 name. lol</P>


            Nene HILARIO! that name is funny....arguably HILARIOus.
            -___-</P>[/quote]Speaking of Brazillians....I think this kid knows Pizz :P

            Justin-I know you can't see this @ work, gotta check it out when you get home.

            Comment


            • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

              LMFAO - from the same article

              Was it the worst moment of David Stern's entire tenure? I never thought
              anything would top an official fixing games, but man … how can anything
              be worse than this? I<font size="6">magine this happened in your fantasy league</font>.
              Imagine spending weeks shaping a deal, executing it, then having your
              commissioner waltz in and say, "Nah, I'm vetoing that one." Would that
              ever happen? And now this is happening in a PROFESSIONAL SPORTS LEAGUE?


              http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...-nba-christmas
              https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheeBloodSport/

              Comment


              • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

                [quote user="lttaylor56"][quote user="JPizzack"][quote user="MattMeyerBud"][quote user="bigblue4417"]
                <div class="report">


                The Nets are "closing in" on a contract with Nene.</p></div>
                <div class="impact">The team reportedly increased the offer to Nene last night, and it sounds like it's possible a deal may get done soon. Considering how fast and furious rumors are flying, there's also a chance a deal doesn't get done at all. Clearly, New Jersey is clearly being aggressive in its approach to improve. </div>


                [/quote]

                just went home for lunch and watched sportscenter. They seem pretty hell bent that a deal may get done today for Howard.

                Nene at PF?
                [/quote]</p>


                I like Nene....but, that may be because I think it's awesome when Brazilians go by only 1 name. lol</p>


                Nene HILARIO! that name is funny....arguably HILARIOus.
                -___-</p>[/quote]Speaking of Brazillians....I think this kid knows Pizz :P

                Justin-I know you can't see this @ work, gotta check it out when you get home.

                [/quote]lol 50 for pizzle.

                Comment


                • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

                  <div class="report">


                  David Stern released a statement about the
                  vetoed Chris Paul trade on Friday, which read in part, "the
                  Commissioner’s Office ... decided, free from the influence of other NBA
                  owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets
                  uniform."</p>
                  </div>
                  <div class="impact">
                  "All decisions are made on the basis of what is
                  in the best interests of the Hornets," Stern wrote. There will be no
                  petition to overturn the veto because the league office does in fact
                  have the authority to make the decision, even if it reeks of the league
                  pandering to a certain group of owners. Chris Paul is considering his
                  legal options and there is serious concern over how New Orleans can
                  trade him after this mess. It's possible that a new owner for the team
                  will be announced soon, but right now all bets are off.


                  This is suuuuuuuuuuuuuch BULL****. I am still in shock...
                  </div>

                  Comment


                  • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

                    [quote user="dezzzR"][quote user="lttaylor56"][quote user="JPizzack"][quote user="MattMeyerBud"][quote user="bigblue4417"]
                    <div class="report">


                    The Nets are "closing in" on a contract with Nene.</p></div>
                    <div class="impact">The team reportedly increased the offer to Nene last night, and it sounds like it's possible a deal may get done soon. Considering how fast and furious rumors are flying, there's also a chance a deal doesn't get done at all. Clearly, New Jersey is clearly being aggressive in its approach to improve. </div>


                    [/quote]

                    just went home for lunch and watched sportscenter. They seem pretty hell bent that a deal may get done today for Howard.

                    Nene at PF?
                    [/quote]</p>


                    I like Nene....but, that may be because I think it's awesome when Brazilians go by only 1 name. lol</p>


                    Nene HILARIO! that name is funny....arguably HILARIOus.
                    -___-</p>[/quote]Speaking of Brazillians....I think this kid knows Pizz :P

                    Justin-I know you can't see this @ work, gotta check it out when you get home.

                    [/quote]lol 50 for pizzle.
                    [/quote]

                    this is a picutre of a young pre-corrupted dezzz..

                    Some would say it was the start of the obsession with women - which lead to the hookers - then one fatal slip of the scissors #1 happened for the long island killer. He then got a taste for it
                    https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheeBloodSport/

                    Comment


                    • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

                      [quote user="bigblue4417"]<div class="report">


                      David Stern released a statement about the
                      vetoed Chris Paul trade on Friday, which read in part, "the
                      Commissioner’s Office ... decided, free from the influence of other NBA
                      owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets
                      uniform."</p>
                      </div>
                      <div class="impact">
                      "All decisions are made on the basis of what is
                      in the best interests of the Hornets," Stern wrote. There will be no
                      petition to overturn the veto because the league office does in fact
                      have the authority to make the decision, even if it reeks of the league
                      pandering to a certain group of owners. Chris Paul is considering his
                      legal options and there is serious concern over how New Orleans can
                      trade him after this mess. It's possible that a new owner for the team
                      will be announced soon, but right now all bets are off.


                      This is suuuuuuuuuuuuuch BULL****. I am still in shock...
                      </div>[/quote]

                      lawsuit time

                      this is going to ge tugly. Go read the Simmons article - ****in GREAT
                      https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheeBloodSport/

                      Comment


                      • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

                        =\ what is it??
                        Oderint Dum Metuant

                        It's too bad, I'm too good....

                        Comment


                        • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

                          [quote user="MattMeyerBud"]Bill Simmons:

                          Fact: Of the three teams involved, New Orleans made out the best.
                          Repeat: the best. By my calculations, it landed one of the better
                          offensive big men in basketball (Luis Scola), one of the better scoring
                          2-guards in basketball (Kevin Martin), a playoff-proven forward who can
                          play either spot (Lamar Odom), a scoring point guard with upside (Goran
                          Dragic), and a 2012 no. 1 pick (via the New York Knicks). Can you do
                          better for someone who was leaving in seven months anyway? I hate
                          trading superstars, but if you HAVE to trade a superstar? That's pretty
                          good.
                          [/quote]
                          Wow man!!! It's so pathetic. I want to see Pizz respond to this and even better I would like to see David Sterns response to this. How in Gods name can this be revoked. I really hope it still goes through somehow. CP3 is going to sue the league.

                          Comment


                          • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

                            [quote user="MattMeyerBud"][quote user="bigblue4417"]<div class="report">


                            David Stern released a statement about the
                            vetoed Chris Paul trade on Friday, which read in part, "the
                            Commissioner’s Office ... decided, free from the influence of other NBA
                            owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets
                            uniform."</p>
                            </div>
                            <div class="impact">
                            "All decisions are made on the basis of what is
                            in the best interests of the Hornets," Stern wrote. There will be no
                            petition to overturn the veto because the league office does in fact
                            have the authority to make the decision, even if it reeks of the league
                            pandering to a certain group of owners. Chris Paul is considering his
                            legal options and there is serious concern over how New Orleans can
                            trade him after this mess. It's possible that a new owner for the team
                            will be announced soon, but right now all bets are off.


                            This is suuuuuuuuuuuuuch BULL****. I am still in shock...
                            </div>[/quote]

                            lawsuit time

                            this is going to ge tugly. Go read the Simmons article - ****in GREAT
                            [/quote]
                            Copy and paste it in here. His URL is blocked at my work. I can't read any of his stuff and I always forget at home. Pisses me off.

                            Then again it will just make me more bitter and angry! FUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!! We had CP3 man.

                            Comment


                            • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD

                              [quote user="MattMeyerBud"]LMFAO - from the same article

                              Was it the worst moment of David Stern's entire tenure? I never thought
                              anything would top an official fixing games, but man … how can anything
                              be worse than this? I<font size="6">magine this happened in your fantasy league</font>.
                              Imagine spending weeks shaping a deal, executing it, then having your
                              commissioner waltz in and say, "Nah, I'm vetoing that one." Would that
                              ever happen? And now this is happening in a PROFESSIONAL SPORTS LEAGUE?


                              http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...-nba-christmas
                              [/quote]
                              LOL, that is hilarious man. I love Bill Simmons. I really do. So does Pizz. He writes some of the best stuff I have ever read. Especially when he gets bitter about Superbowl 42. I love it.

                              It's Grantland. Ever since he got his own **** I can't read it here. ****ers

                              Comment


                              • Re: THEE NYG SWAG THREAD



                                Note: This could end up being one of the craziest months in NBA
                                history. To celebrate the signings, trades, rumors, roster shuffling,
                                insanity and (almost definitely) ensuing hilarity/incompetence, I have
                                unleashed a special series called "The 12 Days of NBA Christmas." Every
                                weekday through December 19 (give or take a day), I will be writing
                                about this unexpected NBA Christmas.
                                </p>


                                Day 1: The Road to Groundhog Day (and more dumb contracts than ever)

                                Day 2: The Donut Dilemma (the bubble in the center market)

                                Day 3: Is Arron Afflalo really worth $50 million?

                                Day 4: Where the hell is Chris Paul going?

                                Day 5: Inside Grantland Featuring Blake Griffin, Part II

                                Day 6: (12/9) The Day the NBA Lost Its Way
                                </p>


                                Norm MacDonald's Comedy Central show may not have lasted long, but it
                                left behind my favorite two-word phrase of 2011: "Wait, what?" The bit
                                went like this: Norm would read a completely insane story with a totally
                                straight face, milk it for a beat, then do a double-take and scream,
                                "Wait, what???" It always slayed me.</p>


                                See, life is full of those "Wait, what???" moments … you know, like
                                yesterday, right after the Lakers pulled off a three-team trade for
                                Chris Paul, when everyone was still digesting that stunning news through
                                phone calls, e-mails and tweets. I had just tweeted a joke about coming
                                to grips with my favorite point guard — Paul, a true artist, maybe the
                                best pure point guard who ever lived — playing across the street from my
                                office, for the team I hate the most, ultimately deciding that I just
                                needed to get drunk. Not even a minute later, my cell phone rang. A
                                friend of mine was on the line. He's never steered me wrong. And now, he
                                was about to put me into a freaking stupor.</p>


                                "The trade's off! The NBA vetoed the trade!!!"</p>


                                Wait, what?</p>


                                "The NBA vetoed the trade! They said it wasn't in the best interests of the league."</p>


                                WAIT, WHAT?</p>


                                "You heard me. They said it wasn't in the best interests in the league. Chris has to play out the year in New Orleans."</p>


                                You know the rest. One of the strangest things about loving sports:
                                Those random moments when you're sitting in your house, your office,
                                your classroom, wherever … and suddenly you get blown away by a
                                legitimate bombshell. This was crazy. This was insane. This made no
                                sense. By blocking the trade, David Stern was willingly creating his own
                                Watergate and validating every critic who ever claimed, "That guy
                                stayed too long." Tim Donaghy was just one guy acting alone — we think —
                                and tampering with dozens of games before they caught him. Blocking the
                                Paul trade? This was different. This was Big Brother stuff. This was
                                one of the biggest conflicts of interest in sports history. This was a
                                league intentionally jeopardizing its own credibility. This was a
                                scandal popping out of thin air, self-created, almost like a man-made
                                lake or something.</p>


                                These are the facts: Twelve months ago, the NBA bought the New
                                Orleans Hornets for a little more than $300 million. Every other owner
                                (29 in all) split the price for the franchise, the same way you'd split a
                                meal 12 ways for your buddy's birthday or something. Stern and his
                                cronies claimed this wouldn't be a problem, that Hornets GM Dell Demps
                                would be able to swing moves just like any other general manager. When Mark Cuban flipped out in February
                                after a Carl Landry/Marcus Thornton swap caused New Orleans' payroll to
                                rise, nobody really cared. When the lockout dragged on for five months
                                and nobody ever seriously considered contracting the Hornets — a
                                franchise that lost money AND couldn't find an owner — nobody really
                                cared. When the Hornets stole the spotlight after the labor agreement by
                                immediately being involved in 50,000 different trade rumors, nobody
                                really cared. We all assumed things were "on the level."</p>


                                And why not? We had no reason to think differently … right? The
                                league made a point of saying that Demps had been empowered to make any
                                trade (without interference). Every team dealing with New Orleans
                                believed that Demps was in charge — without any question — and that they
                                weren't wasting their time spending their days batting around ideas
                                with him. On Wednesday morning, when I was working on my column about
                                Paul trades, I sniffed around on Stern's role in the trade talks and got
                                the same answer from different people: It's Dell Demps' call. I
                                ended up joking in that column that Stern might block a Clippers/Paul
                                trade to avoid having Donald Sterling own one of the league's signature
                                franchises. Everyone read that and got the joke.</p>


                                I mean, Stern wouldn't actually BLOCK a trade. That's preposterous. Right?</p>


                                Fast-forward to Thursday night: Those first few minutes after word
                                spread (not only that the trade was canceled, but that Paul would
                                probably remain in New Orleans for the entire season), as everyone came
                                to the same sobering conclusion. The old man finally lost his mind.
                                Sure, he was pushed there by a cluster of bitter owners, but the old
                                Stern never would have rolled over like that. Twenty years ago, 10 years
                                ago, maybe even five years ago, Stern would have brushed them off in
                                his endearingly condescending way, quelled the fire, called in a favor
                                or two, acted like the politician he always secretly was. Not this time.
                                The old man doesn't have the same sway. We just witnessed it during
                                that lockout. Few people understood how much time and effort he spent
                                pushing his holdout owners toward that final compromise. He barely got
                                there.</p>


                                If you want to know the truth, Stern started losing control of the
                                league during the middle of last decade, when a new generation of
                                wealthy billionaires started paying full boat for franchises. The days
                                of Abe Pollin and Bill Davidson were long gone — family guys who bought
                                in early, stuck with their investments and watched their league flourish
                                into something much bigger than they ever expected. Stern's favorite
                                owner was Larry Miller, a dynamic Salt Lake City businessman and
                                philanthropist who bought the J*** in 1985, then ran the franchise with
                                his family for the next 24 years. A year after diabetes claimed Miller
                                in May of 2009, Stern met the press before a playoff game and spoke
                                earnestly about his affection for Miller. Someone asked the commissioner
                                about Jerry Sloan's longevity. At the time, Sloan was still coaching
                                the J*** at 67 years old, six months older than Stern.</p>


                                "We're a dying breed," Stern admitted. "It's not happening anymore.
                                But it sure is reassuring to look there and expect to see him, and darn,
                                he's there. It's kind of neat."</p>


                                That's probably how Stern thought people saw him. Or, how he hoped
                                people saw him. And in some cases (like with me), it was true. Little
                                did he know that Sloan was losing control of his players — in 2011, an
                                ongoing clash with star Deron Williams caused Sloan to resign — just
                                like Stern was slowly losing control of his owners. The newer generation
                                of guys wasn't indebted to him. They found him to be increasingly
                                obstinate, stuck in his ways, more of a condescending bully than
                                anything. After paying full sticker price for their teams, they weren't
                                interested in answering to some aging know-it-all. Stern's control
                                slowly started to erode, whether he realized it or not.</p>


                                Leaders thrive when they feel creatively empowered, when they trust
                                the people around them, when their confidence is swelling. Leaders make
                                mistakes when they lose that same confidence, when they're fretting
                                about their power base, when they're reacting instead of acting. The
                                worst kind of leaders hang on too long, get seduced by their own voice,
                                start doing things from memory — because that's the way we've always done it!
                                — stop thinking outside the box, start playing checkers instead of
                                chess. Stern reached that point last night. I think he caved because of
                                the whining owners, but also out of exasperation: because yet another
                                superstar was trying to push his way to another big city, because he's
                                in charge, because THIS IS DAVID STERN'S LEAGUE. It's like the old Will
                                Ferrell/Dodge Stratus SNL sketch:</p>


                                You don't talk to me like that! I'm David Stern! I make the rules
                                here! You don't get to pick your team, I do! I'm the commissioner of the
                                NBA! I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS!!!!!
                                </p>


                                Fact: That trade was totally, undeniably, 100 percent defensible.</p>


                                Fact: Of the three teams involved, New Orleans made out the best.
                                Repeat: the best. By my calculations, it landed one of the better
                                offensive big men in basketball (Luis Scola), one of the better scoring
                                2-guards in basketball (Kevin Martin), a playoff-proven forward who can
                                play either spot (Lamar Odom), a scoring point guard with upside (Goran
                                Dragic), and a 2012 no. 1 pick (via the New York Knicks). Can you do
                                better for someone who was leaving in seven months anyway? I hate
                                trading superstars, but if you HAVE to trade a superstar? That's pretty
                                good.</p>


                                Meanwhile, the Rockets spent the past three years stashing enough
                                pieces to make that trade: Acquiring the second-best center in
                                basketball (Gasol) while leaving enough cap room to sign a marquee free
                                agent (and yes, they were closing in on Nene). And the Lakers paid the
                                steepest price: giving up their best low-post guy and all of their
                                frontcourt depth, giving Andrew Bynum an immense amount of
                                responsibility (you know, the same guy who stormed off the court
                                half-naked during the playoff sweep last spring) and reinventing their
                                team around Paul's aching knee and Kobe's aching knees. It would have
                                been a brilliant move had it worked and a legendary disaster had it
                                failed — especially if Kobe rebelled against sharing the ball with Paul —
                                only now we'll never know.</p>


                                Once word leaked of the deal, rival owners started rebelling almost
                                immediately. What was the point of that lockout, and all the talk of
                                competitive balance, if the Lakers were allowed to immediately acquire
                                Chris Paul? Dan Gilbert sent a scathing e-mail to a few of the other
                                owners that, of course, was leaked on the Internet last night.</p>


                                The best part of the letter: "This trade should go to a vote of the 29 owners of the Hornets."</p>


                                (Translation: "Let's cut Demps' balls off, throw the last few weeks
                                of negotiating out the window and go back on our word. Also, I'm
                                thinking of starting a support group for small-market owners who
                                overpaid for their teams, don't have the balls to sell and would rather
                                whine, ***** and bully about their lot in NBA life. I'm going to call it
                                O.A.: Overpayers Anonymous.")</p>


                                The second-best part of the letter: "I just don't see how we can
                                allow this trade to happen. I know the vast majority of owners feel the
                                same way that I do. When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30
                                teams to the Washington Generals?"</p>


                                (Translation: Boooooooo hooooooo.)</p>


                                There it was, in all its Comic Sans MS glory, that whopping conflict
                                of interest that had been staring at everyone for 12 solid months. How can a league own one of its own franchises? What happens if it has to, you know, make important trades and stuff?
                                The league always knew that, at some point, the Hornets might have to
                                trade Chris Paul. They claimed they had a plan in place. And they did.
                                Until O.A. started *****ing with even more fervor than usual. That's
                                when Stern's eroding power finally sank him. Instead of backing a
                                decision he had already made, Stern choked like Nick Anderson. The
                                unthinkable happened.</p>


                                He blocked the trade.</p>


                                Wait, what?</p>


                                Was it the worst moment of David Stern's entire tenure? I never
                                thought anything would top an official fixing games, but man … how can
                                anything be worse than this? Imagine this happened in your fantasy
                                league. Imagine spending weeks shaping a deal, executing it, then having
                                your commissioner waltz in and say, "Nah, I'm vetoing that one." Would
                                that ever happen? And now this is happening in a PROFESSIONAL SPORTS
                                LEAGUE?</p>


                                Just know that I'm a die-hard Celtics fan and die-hard Lakers hater …
                                and even I am appalled. I hope Chris Paul sues. I hope the Rockets sue.
                                I hope the Lakers sue. I hope Dell Demps resigns and makes a sex tape
                                with a stripper wearing a David Stern Halloween mask. Whatever happens,
                                the season has been irrevocably tainted — we just watched FIVE teams
                                have their seasons screwed up by this debacle. Houston's three-year plan
                                just went up in smoke; now the Rockets have to make up with their two
                                best players. (Good luck with that.) The Lakers need to determine if
                                their relationship with the notoriously sensitive Gasol and the even
                                more notoriously sensitive Odom is salvageable; and if it's not, what
                                then? The Hornets are just plain screwed. It's a basketball catastrophe
                                for them. As for the Celtics, Pinocchio Ainge's ill-fated pursuit of
                                Paul ruined the team's relationship with Rajon Rondo, only its best
                                young player. Even the Knicks got screwed — supposedly they closed the
                                deal with Tyson Chandler yesterday, never expecting Paul to become
                                available this summer (and now they can't chase him).</p>


                                The total tally: Five teams were screwed by one cowardly decision.</p>


                                Here's what saddens me: We should have remembered December 8, 2011,
                                as one of the best random basketball days in years. It was like climbing
                                on a Twitter/e-mail/phone call/texting roller coaster from the moment I
                                woke up. First, Boston was in the lead for Paul as Golden State and the
                                Clippers were falling out. Then, Boston fading as the Knicks were
                                gaining steam. Around lunchtime, I called a Knicks buddy who was
                                gleefully planning a future with Chandler, Carmelo and Paul, with poor
                                Amar'e headed to New Orleans, Orlando, Houston … who the hell knew? And
                                then, boom! That went up in smoke. The Lakers came roaring back, word of
                                a three-teamer spread … and my Knicks buddy went from euphoric to
                                despondent in less than three hours. My Laker fan buddies were crowing,
                                my Boston peeps were freaking out, my dad was practically having a heart
                                attack about the Kobe/Howard/Paul possibilities, Twitter was blowing up
                                … I mean, could that have been a more fun day to be a basketball fan?</p>


                                The best point guard of his generation was switching teams, in his
                                prime, to the Los Angeles Lakers … and only after the Celtics and
                                Knicks failed to get him. Read that sentence again. It's what Dan
                                Gilbert and the other Overpayers Anonymous owners will never understand.
                                In professional basketball, history trumps everything else. It's not
                                just about playing in Los Angeles. It's about playing for the ****ing Lakers.
                                It's about following the footsteps of Magic, Kareem, Wilt, West, Baylor
                                and Shaq. It's about Showtime, Nicholson, the yellow jerseys, the Laker
                                Girls, even that awful Randy Newman song. It's about that buzz before a
                                big Laker home game, when the place is packed with celebs and eye
                                candy, when you're the best guy on the team, when you might as well be
                                the king of the world. When these idiots complain about a "big
                                market/small market" disparity, it's almost like they never followed the
                                league before they bought their teams. Of course there's a disparity!
                                What kid doesn't grow up wanting to play for the Celtics, Lakers or
                                Knicks?</p>


                                Remember what pissed us off most about LeBron picking Miami over New
                                York? It wasn't just that he tried to stack the decks with a superteam;
                                it's that he walked away from New York, the city with the most
                                basketball fans, the city with the biggest spotlight, the city that
                                would have either made him immortal or broken him in two. He didn't want
                                it. He copped out. He could have picked loyalty (Cleveland) or
                                immortality (New York); instead, he chose help (Miami). That killed us.
                                We hated him for it. What was telling about Chris Paul's choice was that
                                he eschewed the Clippers (a safer basketball situation for him; he
                                would have been able to grow with Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan and Blake
                                Griffin) for the Lakers (a much more volatile basketball situation with
                                Kobe's miles and Bynum's knees) for the simple reason that he wanted to be a Laker.</p>


                                For the right players, it's not about cities as much as teams,
                                uniforms, histories, owners, fans, titles … and Chris Paul cares about
                                the right things. He's the best teammate in the league. As much as it
                                killed me that my least favorite team landed him, the "basketball fan"
                                side of me loved it. Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant … together? Playing
                                across the street from my office? How cool was that? I remember when KG
                                landed on the Celtics, one of my Lakers-fan buddies told me, "I hate KG
                                and I hate the Celtics, but this is going to be cool."</p>


                                That's how I felt about Chris Paul and the Lakers. If you love
                                basketball — if you truly love it — you appreciated what was happening.
                                And it had nothing to do with the Washington Generals. Believe me.</p>


                                Of course, that's not how December 8, 2011 will be remembered. Years
                                from now, I won't remember anything about that day except for David
                                Stern losing control of his own league. Once upon a time, it was
                                reassuring to look there and expect to see him, and darn, he was there.
                                It was kind of neat. Those days are long gone. The National Basketball
                                Association has lost its way. I feel like crying.</p>
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