I’ve found the phrase.
Took me over a week to do it, but it’s done.
I never thought the Lakers would suffer the consequences of being the Lakers.
Somehow, via trade or whatever the case was, I wasn’t alive yet, the Lakers swooped in on Magic Johnson in the 80’s. Fifteen years ago, they nabbed Shaq from the grips of the Orlando Magic. Soon after, LA traded Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant. Four years ago, Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol.
I’m no fool. Lady Luck has never abandoned the Lakers’ side.
But now, David Stern, Dan Gilbert, the collective of NBA officials, have Ms. Luck in a headlock reminiscent of the McKenzietine, and they refuse to let go.
About a week or so ago (it’s such a blur at this point), the Lakers pulled off another blockbuster swap to bring New Orleans Hornets super-duper point guard Chris Paul to Los Angeles, before commissioner Stern so infamously vetoed the trade and sent the Twitter universe into a frenzy.
But, unlike the other jobs the Lakers have pulled in the past, this time, they actually acted in good faith. They didn’t use their bully power or Hollywood lights to trick the unsuspecting lesser markets.
They were prepared to give up Gasol and reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Lamar Odom.
The Lakers did it the right way and Stern, along with his minions, stuck it to them.
Not because the trade didn’t make sense, but as a means of exacting revenge on behalf of every small market owner in the league.
And if you think about it, nearly every organization has reason not to want the Lakers to get better.
Small market teams hate that superstars always bolt for big market teams. They hate the Lakers.
Teams like the Mavericks, who are in big markets, don’t want the Lakers to get better because that affects their chances of winning. In addition, star players attract other star players.
Mark Cuban wants the Chris Paul’s of the world, he doesn’t want the Lakers to have them.
Is it possible that LA brought this on themselves, as they’ve spent several decades gathering the best players and best free agents from across the league? Using their Hollywood appeal to draw the likes of Shaq and possibly Dwight Howard or Chris Paul?
In any sport, from college basketball to international soccer, players want to play for the best teams in the best cities with the most money.
The Lakers provide all three and will continue to do so.
However, in this instance, Stern and league owners finally see an opportunity to put a stop to it by not allowing the Lakers to acquire Chris Paul, the next player in a line of Lakers superstars, the man that would assume the responsibility of carrying on Kobe Bryant’s winning legacy.
Fact is, the league owns the Hornets and regardless of what the trade may have been, even if it were Kobe for Paul, the league would be against it.
To be honest, I’m not upset that the trade didn’t go through. The Lakers need a point guard but they don’t need Chris Paul.
They need to not have Derek Fisher more than they need Paul.
What I am upset about is the fact that the league allowed the discussions to get to that point, then pull if off the table.
That trade wasn’t a rumor, it wasn’t in discussions…it was done.
The Hornets’ GM, who the league gave power to make basketball decisions on behalf of the Hornets, signed off on the deal and it was submitted to the league.
It failed to go through not because of failed physicals or money.
It was spite, and that is evident to every individual in touch with the subject.
And that is what I like to call (get ready for this)…organized karma.
To further the injustice, after the trade was pulled off the table, the Lakers were left with a disgruntled Odom, who could not fend off the side-effects of being a stubborn athlete.
Odom allowed his “feelings” to get the best of him and cause him to make what should have been a bad decision.
But then he landed with the Dallas Mavericks! The defending champions!
Not only did the Lakers not get Paul, they lost Odom, and their strongest competition got stronger!
The NBA has done the Lakers no favors this offseason, and the league could add insult to injury by trading Paul to the Clippers.
Now, LA is in a position of panic, at least for its standards. Going into the Christmas Day game with Fisher at point guard, across from Derrick Rose, is a travesty in itself.
Metta World Peace at small forward isn’t much better.
Never has the pressure been greater on Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak.
It’s time to play Santa and deliver LA the players we so greatly desire.