Originally posted on The Sports Rocker  |  Last updated 12/16/11
Usually, big superstar blockbuster trades happen in the middle of the day. Negotiations start the day before, and everything is completed with a nice little bow the following day. Usually. But this is the 2011 NBA, "Where crazy happens." The Chris Paul trade to the Clippers went down after dinner on the East Coast.

This was after the Chris Paul to the Lakers trade went down in flames over the weekend.You know that one. That's the trade that Hornets GM Dell Demps sent to Stern, and the Plantation Owner vetoed from his front porch while he sipped on some iced tea and told them boys to get back to work. Stern has taken fierce criticism from every corner of the universe about how that was handled. And he should. If Demps was given autonomy as the Hornets GM, then he should be allowed to make trades as he sees fit.

But something else happened when Stern vetoed that trade. Something a lot of people are overlooking. And for this, Stern deserves a pat on the back. After all, he is the commissioner, and it is his job to take care of the league.


David Stern saved the Lakers from themselves.

More importantly, David Stern saved Chris Paul from Kobe Bryant.

Yeah, they got along great.What? Do you seriously think Bryant wants another alpha-dog on the Lakers? Another Shaq? Child please. If Kobe didn't mind sharing the spotlight, Shaquille O'Neal would have retired a Laker, and could have won more rings, instead of just the one he won in Miami.

Kobe is a perfectionist to the core. And he wants to be the best. Has to be. If Chris Paul would have landed on the Lakers and they fizzled, guess who's going to get the blame. The guy not named Kobe Bryant. Yeah, Kobe might have put on a good game face to the press, but I would take bets on bad blood behind closed doors. The Lakers have already tried stacking the team with other stars to support Bryant. Unfortunately, the guys that were invited got off the retirement home van. Karl Malone and Gary Payton couldn't get it done either.

No matter who you ultimately want to blame, Bryant or O'Neal, bother players share the blame of not being able to get along. They both bristled about the other to the press and had numerous altercations behind closed doors. That is what happens when two alpha-dogs end up on the same team. They both want to be the man, and aren't willing to budge.

Sure, Chris Paul could have played the "I'm elated to play with Kobe" card. No doubt he would have. It isn't like he was going to come close sniffing the Finals playing out his final year in the Big Easy. But two superstar guards on the same team? Two guys who want the ball all the time? Two guys that want to be "the guy" in the clutch? They never would have existed happily. The only reason Shaq and Kobe co-existed was because Phil Jackson was able to work out some sort of North Korea - South Korea-type truce between the two. And the Zen Master is living in Montana now, not LA.

It was in Chris Paul's best interest for Stern to veto the trade. Paul is a marquee player and shouldn't be playing second fiddle to anyone. I hear what you're saying already. But what about Blake Griffin? Sure, Griffin is a star. But Griffin needs an instigator on offense, someone like, say . . . . Chris Paul.

Paul gets his wish and then some. He gets out of New Orleans. He plays in Los Angeles. And he isn't sharing top billing. Griffin and Paul can co-exist. Paul and Bryant? Seriously doubtful.

So while CP3 might have been tweeting, "What?!" when the trade to the Lakers got vetoed, he should have been saying "Thanks." Take a look at the big picture. Sure, the Lakers would have been able to sell tickets and merchandise, but that isn't a problem for them. But Paul and Kobe learning to play together could have been one.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Goodell plans to step down as commissioner at end of new deal

UCLA offering free tickets to California firefighters

Anthony Davis surprises family with new car, gifts

Ezekiel Elliott makes a daring bet with Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson

Paul George booed by Pacers fans like crazy

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Angels reportedly acquire Ian Kinsler from Tigers

Warren Sapp addresses sexual harassment allegations, claims he’s ‘always the bad guy’

49ers player: Jimmy Garoppolo has become leader of team

Thunder already loooking to trade Paul George?

Report: 'More than five teams interested' in Orioles' Manny Machado

Watch LiAngelo, LaMelo Ball get a preview of what to expect in Lithuania in funny video

NFL Week 15 Predictions

The 'Is there anything Brown can't do for you?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Newcomers help Predators get back to 'Smashville' hockey

How Buddy Hield became the NBA's newest sniper

NFL MVP Watch: Antonio Brown enters suddenly wide-open race

The 'To the Victor, go the spoils' quiz

Matt Barnes and the looming end of the NBA's enforcers

25 players to watch in the pre-Christmas bowls

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

NFL free agent signings who have paid off the most in 2017

Six NBA coaches who could be on the hot seat

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

The 'Is there anything Brown can't do for you?' quiz

Newcomers help Predators get back to 'Smashville' hockey

How Buddy Hield became the NBA's newest sniper

NFL MVP Watch: Antonio Brown enters suddenly wide-open race

The 'To the Victor, go the spoils' quiz

25 players to watch in the pre-Christmas bowls

The 'Josh Gordon is back and the NFL will have to deal with it!' quiz

The best individual performance from every bowl all time

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker