"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The Party’s Over

Here’s Bill Simmons at his best:

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.

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.”

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.

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.

Ian Thomsen has more over at SI.com.

Categories:  1: Featured  Basketball  Games We Play

Tags:  bill simmons  chris paul  david stern  NBA

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1 Dimelo   ~  Dec 9, 2011 12:34 pm

Yeah, Simmons is right on. David Stern, YOU BLEW IT!!!!!

2 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 9, 2011 12:40 pm

Yeah, this is almost worse than the lockout.

3 RagingTartabull   ~  Dec 9, 2011 1:06 pm

This is worse than the lockout because it hammers home the fact that the lockout accomplished NOTHING. We all just pissed away five months for no reason whatsoever. Nevermind the fact that you can make the case that the Lakers would have been more hurt by this deal than helped by it. CP3 is great, no doubt, but you're completely gutting the front court that Kobe NEEDED to go to 3 straight Finals and win 2 rings in the post-Shaq era. Derek Caracter ain't no Pau.

But hey, Tyson Chandler. That front 3...I got visions of Mase/Ew/Oak dancing in my head this morning. Let's get it going!

4 Jon DeRosa   ~  Dec 9, 2011 2:05 pm

[3] I think the lockout accomplished a lot. The owners were upset about a lot of things, but pushed to the brink by Lebron and Wade conspiring to play together. They hated the players calling the shots so explicitly on team creation. So here is Chris Paul trying to get himself to the Lakers, and the owners banded together to stop it.

The move that was going to follow Paul to the Lakers was going to be Dwight Howard to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum. So the front court was going to be OK I think.

This is exactly what the lockout was designed to do - severely limit player power. Terribly regressive and awful policy, but it's what the majority of the owners wanted.

5 ms october   ~  Dec 9, 2011 2:27 pm

i don't agree with simmons about lebron's move to miami, but his article, and most of the national media's harsh critique of stern is completely dead on. what stern and the lame ass owners like dan gilbert did is ridiculous. and that is why the remarks that reference certain historical events and the nba aren't as far-fetched as people wanted to make them out to be.
i also hate the lakers and think very highly of chris paul, but i hope he does sue and ends up on the lakers.
this is why i like the players to get their money and basically tell the owners to fuck off. the owners own SPORTS FRANCHISES not PEOPLE.
i am also glad wade and lebron took control of this process last summer and took ownership of their own labor. fuck all these owners.
i hope if chris paul is forced to stay in new orleans al year he signs with a big market team and nike puts up the rest of his money in salary. the shoe companies definitely want their stories in bigger markets so they should pay the difference in salaries to make it happen.
as jay said i not a business-man i'm a business man. i hope the players find a way to flip this back.

[3] the trade would have taken away the lakers biggest advantage which is front court depth. plus who would pick and roll with cp3 in la? so i'm not convinced it would have been so great for the lakers.

6 ms october   ~  Dec 9, 2011 2:33 pm

[5] sorry for all the typos. this story actually has me pissed off.
i like the chandler signing for the knicks. sounds like they are going to use the amnesty on billups, which sucks for him. hopefully toney douglas has worked on his point guard skills during the lockout.

7 RagingTartabull   ~  Dec 9, 2011 3:24 pm

[4] I think it accomplished nothing in that ostensibly the goal was, in part, to keep small market teams competitive. Well now the Hornets are in a position where their options are a)trade Paul for 50 cents on the dollar, or b)watch him walk out the door for nothing in July.

[5,6] Agreed on all points. I was in no fan of how LeBron handled his departure but every time Gilbert opens his mouth the decision (and The Decision) becomes more and more understandable in hindsight.

As for the Knicks, I think they're sitting pretty all things considered. They have one of the best front courts in the conference, if not the league, and they still have an extra $5 million to drop on a PG. If nothing else go get Baron off waivers from the Little Sisters of the Poor in Cleveland and go to war with Melo/Amare/Tyson/Baron/Landry...I'll more than take my chances with that.

8 ms october   ~  Dec 9, 2011 3:35 pm

[7] yep agreed back.
wilbon wrote a decent but hastily written article on how the nba is not the nfl. the small market team have become obsessed with keeping their top players. but as has been pointed out perhaps if they were well run (see spurs, thunder) the stars wouldn't automatically bolt.
this block probably hurts the hornets more than any other team. even though it became a circus the nuggets were far better off trading melo than letting him walk for nothing. as you say what can the hornets possibly do with chris paul now?

yeah baron would be an interesting pick-up. that roster and the bright lights would be a good fit for him. just stay the hell away from arenas.
feel bad that roy is having to give it up.

9 Jon DeRosa   ~  Dec 9, 2011 3:52 pm

[7] This sums it up well, I think...


10 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Dec 9, 2011 6:39 pm

Doesn't this prove once and for all how wretched Stern and the owners are? Totally inexplicable as this was a GREAT trade for the Hornets.

11 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Dec 9, 2011 6:48 pm

[0] Yeah, Simmons brought it with this article. I don't enjoy his work anymore but the guy really loves his hoops and it shows here.

Seriously..what an insane decision by the NBA. Still can't believe it.

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