Friday, December 9th, 2011 at 9:40 am  |  54 responses

NBA Executive: David Stern is ‘Drunk on Power’

After David Stern and the League’s owners conspired to nix the Chris Paul blockbuster trade last night, everyone that cares about the NBA was left with a bad feeling in their mouth, and one very angry NBA executive teed off on the commish in an interview with Yahoo! Sports: “As one rival executive with strong ties to the league office said, ‘Stern cared about two things: Selling that franchise for the best possible price; and showing the players that they weren’t going to dictate where teams could trade them. But now, there’s no way that the league can allow Chris Paul to be traded at all, otherwise Stern is basically deciding where one of the top players in the league is going versus having any fair process.’ Officials from New Orleans, Houston and Los Angeles were stunned Thursday night. The killed trade had ripple effects everywhere in free agency and potential trades, and literally pushed the market into paralysis on the eve of training camps opening up. ‘We were all told by the league he was a trade-able player, and now they’re saying that Dell doesn’t have the authority to make the trade?’ said an NBA executive who had periodic talks with New Orleans throughout the process. ‘Now, they’re saying that Dell is an idiot, that he can’t do it his job. [Expletive] this whole thing. David’s drunk on power, and he doesn’t give a [expletive] about the players, and he doesn’t give a [expletive] about the hundreds of hours the teams put in to make that deal. How do the Lakers explain this to Odom? How does Houston deal with the guys it just tried to trade? Scola and Martin are going to be pissed at them, and who knows how long that takes to get over? Explain to me how the league kills this Pau Gasol deal, but allows Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol? To me, this makes the league feel like it’s rigged, that Stern just does whatever Stern wants to do. He’s messed up the competitive balance of this league a lot worse by killing the deal, because you’ve completely destroyed the planning that New Orleans, Houston did and left them in shambles over this. I’ve never been so discouraged about this league, never so down. I mean, come on: Chris Paul is leaving New Orleans in 66 games. He’s gone. And what’s Dell Demps, and that franchise, going to have to show for it?’”

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  • Morgan

    Finally someone in the NBA office has the balls to say what everyone today is thinking. David Stern is the problem.

  • Bug

    Dell Demps just got shat on. Free Dell Demps!

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    This is the truth right here. Literally what everyone’s thinking. Stern just made it worse by veto-ing the trade. Now New Orleans will be left with NOTHING after the season ends. To be honest, I actually thought the Hornets got a pretty good deal out of it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com angel of stern

    shots fired! BAM!

  • robb

    I don’t care if you are a Lakers hater, this is totally unfair. Stern is confining a player to a certain team, he’s deciding CP3′s future,because after this he can’t go to NY either but that’s not all, he’s also f*cking with Scola, Martin, Odom and Gasol, like this exec said, the Lakers aren’t the only affected here, these players, the Rockets and the Hornets who I think got the better part of the deal are being affected as well. This is Emperor Palpatine at his worst.

  • Jukai

    You know, after looking at this trade a little more (I work graveyards at a hotel, what else am I going to do?) I have to agree with what this executive is saying. In a way I understand what Stern is trying to do but I wonder how much he actually looked into the trade and it’s benefits long term for all of the teams involved. I also wonder how much he listened to the other owners because outside of Dan Gilbert and Mark Cuban I bet there were more voicing the same opinion. Remember, Stern essentially works for the owners and if a majority of them are coming to him like Gilbert and Cuban did, he may have felt compelled to do something. I’m not saying it’s right. Just throwing it out there

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Stern really is making things worse for himself..

  • JoeMaMa

    Dell Demps has proven himself to be a shrewd GM. He’s made trades that’ve helped his team; wouldn’t we all agree that he’s been a top GM? And this trade…when confronted with the prospect of losing his #1, he goes out and he 3/5s of a starting lineup, 3 players who’ve all proven themselves to be high quality players, and to the naked eyes of us fans, high quality guys. (You could even make a case that Dragic starts, as he was coming along fairly well, thought Jarrett Jack likely gets the nod.) And now, nothing. If Demps didn’t KNOW that leaving the team right now would kill his career, he’d be gone now. But he knows that Stern still controls the league, and leaving now would hurt his chances at another coveted GM position. Too bad for Demps. Hopefully he grinds out another season or two before he gets a chance elsewhere.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    The other owners own the team, not Stern. He does what they tell him to do. If you want to be mad at someone, be mad at the Dan Gilberts of the world, not Stern.

  • Jay cutler

    Mitch k sounds upset

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    David Stern doesn’t have any power except the power the owners grant him.
    So the owners, that same stupid, selfish fraternity of multi-millionaires we’ve come to know well during the past few months, didn’t want Chris Paul traded.
    And they screwed three teams to get what they wanted.

  • CubicleWorker

    I’m disgusted with this veto. Plain and simple. What a beautiful trade for all parties involved.

  • LA Huey

    My theory is enough owners threatened to not ratify the new CBA if this trade wasn’t blocked. And in the best interest of the season, he nixed the trade. Stern is an AHole for sure, but I’m not going to pin this one on him. I think he’s taking the heat for this one to, once again, protect his owners.
    This definitely stinks though. Hornets are now screwed. Maybe now, we can start the process of moving them up here to replace the Sonics.

  • Heals

    On the heals of the new CBA this is embarrassing. This trade was an indictment on the total falsehood of the owners stance that the lockout was about helping small markets. This was good deal for NO, end of story, regardless of who benefited on the other end. And I’m even more pissed cause I can’t help but to have a shht load of empathy for my rival LAL fans…

  • MikeC.

    I’m drunk on power. And malt liquor.

  • BWill22

    Any way the league reverses the decision?

  • javy

    I still have hope for this sport. I love basketball and it looks to me like this will transform into the NBA Entertainment Show where everything is fake and Stern manipulates this 100%.
    How is it that we allowed the Heatles to become just that! (well besides the fact of what they will never become, 3 MJ’s).
    When I watch soccer and wrestling and see all this acting, I go to my couch and watch an NBA game and feel a lot better. Now Stern is taking that away from me! Just let the game play in harmony and the fans will follow!

  • robb

    @Allenp actually they may have screwed 5 teams. Bill Simmons wrote: “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).”

  • burnt_chicken

    i disagree with this article completely. The nixed trade is an obvious attempt by the owners/Stern to win fans back by showing how classy, above board and straight-up professional the NBA is.

  • burnt_chicken

    in all seriousness, I am about to state something I never in a hundred lifetimes would have imagined I could be convinced to say (and truly believe): F*** THE NBA.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The Chris Paul to LA trade is still going to end up happening. I don’t see anyway this “vetoing” strategy works.

  • burnt_chicken

    Is there something we (the true fans) can do? Can SLAM initiate some kind of global petition on behalf of fans everywhere that can be rubbed into Stern’s (and all his cr-own-ies) face with the might of a million signatures? Maybe it’s not much but the NBA idiots should really really be made to understand just how very upset so many of us are. JUST GIVE US THE DAMN GAME BACK ALREADY.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The other owners were not consulted on the trade. They were not given the opportunity to vote, or even talked to about the situation. This is all David Stern and the league office. The other owners may grant him power, but someone has to be the commissioner and have that power, what they do with it is on them. And so far this off-season, David Stern has flaunted his power to the world like a “real housewife” shows off breast implants.

  • Deb

    Sounds like power hungry Congress at work in the NBA. Where are all the freedoms of our great country going?

  • bike

    How is this Stern’s fault? The owners own the Hornets, it was their idiot decision. And what an idiot decision it was because there is no way in the world that the Lakers would come out ahead on this.
    And right on the heels of the lockout where everyone still has a bad taste in their mouth…

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Stern is GOAT.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The owners had ZERO input in vetoing the trade. Some may have expressed their frustration, but nobody was consulted. Stern vetoed the trade because the players were dictating where they are playing and Stern can’t have that. It makes it look like the lockout was a sham (which it was, but now it’s obvious, either way really) so Stern and the league office stepped in. Basically if you can’t get what you want out of the lockout you have to abuse your power as commissioner of the league. And the reason this is even a little acceptable is because the league owns the Hornets, except the league told Dell Demps last season he had FULL control of player-personnel decisions. It’s not like the league will be able to step in the Dwight trade when he dictates exactly where he wants to go (new jersey).

  • Maniac

    Yo nbk I agree with you. I think the deal is still gonna happen

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    It better happen.

  • http://360special.blogspot.com/ dev0

    I have to say, “hands off” David Stern. You’ve set the table, now just let us eat. We’re hungry for the NBA and don’t need your hands in the mashed potatoes!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    It has to happen. If it doesn’t then how can Chris Paul get traded anywhere? So to stop Chris Paul from coming to LA in a trade, Stern is forcing him to be a free agent, where choosing where you play is the name of the game.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Oh and New Orleans becomes just that much less valuable to a future owner.

  • Sam

    finally someone speaks the truth

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    This is exactly what the NBA didnt need right now. LOL

  • LA Huey

    I do feel like the trade still happens and I think the players involved know that. Good thing training camp is shortened this year because it’ll real awkward around those 3 teams

  • Reality

    im not supporting the nba in any way until stuff like this gets dealt with. i see nothing unfair about the deal for paul. So now teams have to get sterns approval for a trade? GTFOH

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheshire

    This is crazy but I think this deal still gonna happen tho… It’s time we bring back the Sonics! Haha

  • http://www.kittywildeonline.com/ RunNGun

    Sorry but Stern is not power drunk. The guy is about competitive balance. Sorry CP3, but the writing was in the stars… rather your jersey; it says NO LA!

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    @runngun, competitive balance? You DO realize that New Orleans will be left with NOTHING once cp3 becomes a free agent right? You think that is more balanced than getting players/something in return? Please.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He only has to wear the jersey for one more year.
    And then he can sign anywhere.
    What Stern just did was make sure that if he signs somewhere else he loses $30 million.
    And I can see why Paul would be pissed.
    he reduced Paul’s money, and made it impossible for the Lakers to sign him because they are over the top.
    He basically rigged the League because the other owners don’t like the terms they agreed to.

  • Tom

    Congratulations, RunNGUn. You are officially the only person on the entire planet who thinks this was a good thing.

  • http://www.kittywildeonline.com/ RunNGun

    The reality of it is that every team (except the LAKERS, KNICKS, & CELTICS) have to eventually rebuild. Otherwise, the NBA should just be a six-team league.

  • http://www.kittywildeonline.com/ RunNGun

    Tom: Thanks… I like to be “THE ONE”.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    it used to be an eight team league.
    that was back when players had to get jobs in the off season sometimes to make ends meet.
    expansion created better tv deals and more money, but it diffused talent and created many of the modern problems we have.
    the only way to insure parity is to completely strip players of all their rights and give them no security
    but even that doesn’t work all the time because just like in the NFL if you draft a good quarterback, your team is straight. if you don’t, you’re sunk.

  • T-Money

    philo: far from it. he lost control of owners and the respect of players. the only way he can exert his power is by making outlandish moves now because no one is trying to hear what he has to say. this decision will be reversed.

  • http://www.tumblr.com arthurissupreme

    mannn I been saying get rid of him, dude is 69 years old.


    “I know where all the bodies are buried.” -Commissioner David Stern

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    As much as I despise Stern, he’s not at fault here. Stern is the owner’s puppet, so he basically has to do whatever they say or risks losing his high-paying job. That’s why he agreed to lockout the players this off-season despite coming off one of the most popular seasons ever and the possibility of a lockout destroying whatever strides the NBA made in terms of popularity here and abroad (Stern is all about popularity and making the NBA a world-wide brand). In the famous words of Alonzo on Training Day “The Owners run sh*t here, Stern just lives here”

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-NBA-until-Pauls-in-LA/325077450836328 No NBA until Paul’s in LA

    We don’t have to take this! Just like when the banks tried screwing us with extra fees, using social networks we can force Stern to do the right thing. Join our Facebook page boycotting official NBA products until CP# is in LA!

  • shutup

    “The owners had ZERO input in vetoing the trade.” stated like you live in Sterns iphone, and im the pompous Ahole. So now you know who calls or texts stern? if that was true you would work at slam instead of lurk at slamonline

  • Drew

    Forget the teams right now for a moment. I seriously feel for Chris Paul. Like Allenp said above, he just screwed Chris Paul out of $30 million. Think about if your employer just took $30 million away from you…you’d go nuts and take that fool out!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp


  • Heals

    RunNGun – naw man the C’s have had to rebuild numerous times; Bias dies, Lewis dies, keeping the big3 too long, Vin Baker, KAnderson. I love em’, but when the Green Regime falls off it tends to drop off a cliff…

  • Chukaz

    so many teams got screwed on this. The lakers chemistry is gone since lo’s being a b*tch about it. The Hornets (who woulda been the winners of the trade by picking up one of the most versatile players in the L, one of the top scoring 2 guards, one of the top low post scorers and a young guard and a 1st rounder) will lose paul to free agency without compensation. The rockets stockpiled assets to trade for a star and they were left empty handed. The knicks closed the deal with chandler thinking they couldn’t get paul. The top free agent in the market is off the market and the team that got him doesn’t really want him. A weak FA class just got weaker and competitive balance suffered (the lakers woulda lost what made them special, while the rockets and hornets woulda gotten better). Ppl thought the nuggets were held hostage by melo, but the hornets are about the find out what being held hostage really means. They can’t keep paul AND they can’t trade him away. Some people want to have their cake and eat it too. Stern told the Hornets they can neither own nor consume cake…