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David Stern Has Made a Real Mess of Things

By Cory Bernstein

I'm writing this barely conscious, just getting home from a whole day of checking Twitter every 0.5 seconds to see what’s been going on. This is the craziest thirty hours in NBA history, where the entire league is in one huge free-for-all. Stern has entirely lost control of his league, something that was thought to be pushed to the wayside at the end of the lockout but is surely the case.

Last night's CP3 fiasco was one of the most ridiculous, insane, and plain stupid events in the history of sports. The NBA turned into a bad fantasy league last night when the Paul trade was vetoed. Obviously, the trade has no direct effect on the Nets, but it sets a horrible precedent looking forward.

The Hornets were set to get Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic, and two first round draft picks. Chris Paul is a superstar, and the Hornets would never get full value for him, but that is a very nice haul. Scola, Martin, and Odom are all above average starters who, along with Emeka Okafor, would form a solid nucleus going forward. Dragic is a solid guard off the bench, and two first round picks would help the Hornets rebuild their team. This trade would let the Hornets move on the from the CP3 era with a solid rotation and not the mess we see in Cleveland.

But then David Stern had to intervene.

After this bizarre turn of events, where if you were under a rock the last day Stern vetoed the deal, saying it was in the best interests of the Hornets to have Chris Paul in a Hornets uniform, there is no way the Nets can trade for Dwight Howard. Dwight and Paul are relatively equal players, and Lopez and two first round picks is not even close to the value New Orleans was getting in their Paul trade. The NBA would have to veto this deal if the Paul trade was nixed.

An outrage (rightfully so) in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Daryl Morey's computer would occur. There is no justifiable way the Nets could trade for Dwight Howard now unless if a player whose name rhymes with Beron Hilliams is included, and that's not happening.

If that wasn't confusing enough, at about 12:30ish Twitter nearly exploded with rumors of the Nets tampering with Dwight Howard. Mikhail Prokhorov and Billy King allegedly had an illegal meeting with Dwight and his agent to discuss a future in Brooklyn. These rumors have cooled off since this afternoon, with Dwight's agent saying he was given permission to speak with the Nets. As I tweeted today, I am 100% absolutely, without a doubt, confused. I have no idea what is going on, and am not going to pretend like I do. This is absolute madness.

The NBA has become a carbon copy of the end of the book Catching Fire. With only a few people remaining in the Quarter Quell, Katniss hears the sound of the cannon and says, "the death will trigger a kind of free-for-all out in the night. People will kill first and wonder about their motives later". The NBA is now in a free-for-all. Teams have no idea what is going on, if they should/can sign players, and if they are able to make trades.

Teams are going to make moves first and worry about the ramifications later. We all know how Catching Fire ended: Katniss is saved by a hovercraft and learns of the master plan to save her from her death. Hopefully the NBA's hovercraft comes in the form of the Nets and Lakers, who are able to save the Magic and Hornets respectively of losing superstars without any compensation. As Nets fans, we can only this is the solution.

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