Now that David Stern has officially retired as NBA commissioner, a position he held for 30 years, let us revisit the fun facts about his lovely veto gift he left behind for the Lakers.
Here's an interesting excerpt from Jeanie Buss's updated "Laker Girl" book:
It was a very intense battle. Some of the owners were pounding David during those eight hours of negotiation, but he was like a ninja. He fought off every objection while striving for fairness and balance. The guy was amazing. He has an incredible ability to handle divergent opinions, reach compromises, and push through policies he feels are the most advantageous to the league as a whole. I honestly think that David, had he not become NBA commissioner, could have run a country.
I had fallen asleep on the plane after my flight took off. When I woke up, I learned the deal had been rescinded. David — for basketball reasons, he said, not because owners were complaining — had negated the deal. I don’t think David caved to the owners. The problem, in my opinion, was giving Demps the leeway to be the ultimate decision maker. As the general manager, he should have been required to get final approval from a higher level.
Lakerholics.com writer Ross Pickering says this about Del Demps:
Del Demps was appointed as the general manager of the New Orleans Hornets by the NBA and agreed to the CP3 trade without getting clearance from ownership, and the league were the owners of the Hornets at the time, of course. The whole thing was just one big mess. If the Hornets had a regular owner or GM then Chris Paul might be a Laker today – then again, a different GM or owner may not agree to a deal with the Lakers, anyway.
CP3 Trade Review
The following players would go to or went to the Pelicans:
Lakers Offer: CP3 for: Dragic (19 ppg), Scola, K. (8 ppg) K. Martin (19 ppg) and Odom (14 ppg) Clippers Offer (accepted by David Stern): E. Gordon (16.5 ppg), C. Kamen (8.3 ppg), A. Al-Farouq (7.2ppg)
The deal that the Lakers originally brokered was better for the Pelicans and the league. While the Clippers got one hell of a parting gift from Stern, the Lakers were left with a departing reigning 6MOTY Lamar Odom, which was the beginning to the Lakers dynasty ending.