Peyote-puffing wise man and former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson saw this mess of a scenario coming. Sure, he may not have exactly pinpointed his precious Lakers as the team that would ultimately get screwed by the league owning the New Orleans Hornets, but he knew something bad would happen.
Today, as news breaks that the NBA has effectively killed the Chris Paul-to-Los Angeles deal because it would make the Lakers too good, we’d be wise to remember what he said almost a year ago on the topic:
“I don’t know if New Orleans can support a team,” Jackson said.
“Who’s going to pull the button on it?” Jackson asked. “When Chris says he has to be traded, how’s that going to go? … Someone’s going to have to make a very nonjudgmental decision on that part that’s not going to irritate anyone else in the league.”
For all of the flak Jackson constantly got about only winning with supremely talented teams, you can’t deny the man was a visionary. What he predicted is exactly what unfolded on Thursday.
The Hornets made a very logical trade in which they got back a lot of talent in return for Paul, who is going to leave the team no matter what a year from now. Then, like angry little girls, the other owners stepped in and pressured the league to pressure Hornets management to kill the deal. Why? Because it would make the Lakers too good, apparently.
Most thought that the league’s prolonged lockout was a black mark on the reputation of the NBA. Clearly that was just a warm-up for the big pile of humiliation the league opted to serve up today.
(Kudos to Kevin Ding of the OC Register for the find)