NBA / Dec 9, 2011 / 12:00 pm

NBA Executive: “This Makes The League Feel Like It’s Rigged”

David Stern

David Stern

Right now, David Stern is Public Enemy No. 1. As he should be. And honestly, I don’t really know how to feel about the NBA as a whole. Basketball reasons? Really? It’s simply incomprehensible. And while the players involved in yesterday’s three-team trade have it worst of all heading into training camp today, having to answer questions about personnel decisions that they had nothing to do with, everyone that loves the game has a sour taste in their mouth. And thankfully, someone from the inside feels the same as we do.

From an NBA executive who had periodic talks with New Orleans throughout the process:

“We were all told by the league he was a tradeable player, and now they’re saying that Dell [Demps] doesn’t have the authority to make the trade? Now they’re saying that Dell is an idiot, that he can’t do his job. [Expletive] this whole thing. David’s drunk on power, and he doesn’t give a [expletive] about the players, and he doesn’t give a [expletive] about the hundreds of hours the teams put in to make that deal.

“How do the Lakers explain this to Odom? How does Houston deal with the guys it just tried to trade? Scola and Martin are going to be pissed at them, and who knows how long that takes to get over? Explain to me how the league kills this Pau Gasol deal, but allows Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol?

“To me, this makes the league feel like it’s rigged, that Stern just does whatever Stern wants to do. He’s messed up the competitive balance of this league a lot worse by killing the deal because you’ve completely destroyed the planning that New Orleans and Houston did and left them in shambles over this. I’ve never been so discouraged about this league, never so down.

“I mean, come on: Chris Paul is leaving New Orleans in 66 games. He’s gone. And what’s Dell Demps, and that franchise, going to have to show for it?”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

What are your feelings on this whole situation today?

Follow Aron on Twitter at @the_real_aron.

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  • north

    seriously you guys need to get over it.

  • http://nbadime victor

    i agree this is total bullshit man

  • SayItAintSo

    I’ve been saying it for years now. Ever since he raped the city of Seattle. Overseer Stern needs to go. He feels like he OWNS the league.

  • Blk Caesar

    @Aron. I won’t go so far as saying the league is rigged but I will say I understand how you feel. Although, the league has the final say so on whether or not to approve trades this is the problem with the league owning the Hornets. It was actually a great deal for New Orleans especially if they would be able to resign Dave West. That team wouldn’t win a title but there’s no question they would’ve been competitive. This decision sets a very bad precedent especially if in a few days they actually allow D12 to go to Brooklyn. If that trade happens then it will undoubtedly be hypocritical on the part of the league. Chris Paul won’t really have a leg to stand on in a labor case against the league bc again the league ultimately has the power to approve trades, but I understand his anger.

  • UIL33

    David Stern made the make-up call for the travesty that is Pau Gasol for Kawme Brown. Good call.

  • beiber newz

    chicagorilla should READ THIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    @ north

    Who is “you guys”?

  • Rice Protein

    David Stern needs to go.

  • BiGShoTBoB

    Who cares I’m tired of all this big name player movement shit anyways. Stay on your fucking team show some loyalty like my boy Steve Nash and wait on draft picks to improve your team. In fact I don’t want to see another trade or big free agent signing involving Ny, Miami, Lakers, or Boston for the next three years.

  • NYK

    is it bad that talented players could dictate where they want to go?

    yea, there’s a contract, but it’s the last year of it and the NBA is screwing the hornets if they rather let paul’s contract expire

  • Kingsley

    Petition for Stern to go. That’s simple. I can’t believe such heavy-handed intervention to trades happens in America. It makes us feel like we’re in Soviet or China…

    Now, NOH is stuck with a disgruntled C.Paul for 66 games and gets nothing back in return. That’s basketball decisions? Absoultely crap…

    Same goes for Dan Gilbert. If he doesn’t know the STARS=NBA, he might as well pack his bag and sell his team… Freaking idiot of an NBA owner. While some understand his frustration with the Decision, now, truely no one will want to play for the Cavs anymore.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @north – totally agree, I don’t see what the big deal is. There must have been more than a few owners that disagreed with the trade, the anonymous GM is probably Mitch Kupchak.

  • Blk Caesar

    @BIGShoTBoB Loyalty in the NBA is a joke. Everyone screams loyalty and then does the exact opposite so I don’t really blame players for leaving.. The owners want the players to stay loyal to the franchise but as soon as they might have a deal or that player may have lost a step despite what they may have done for the franchise he gets traded. I was watching some panel show on NBA TV yesterday where Steve Smith was talking about a time when he spoke to GM the night before and dude told him “Steve we love you, you’re safe , we won’t trade you” and the next morning he was traded. Loyalty? KG was loyal and wasted his prime years in Minnesota. Fans scream loyalty but they are the first ones when a guy isn’t playing well or might be hurt, etc, etc.. they start calling him a bum, scream “trade him”(i.e. Patrick Ewing), etc….. So all that loyalty stuff is just lip service in my opinion..

  • BiGShoTBoB

    @ Bk Caesar and with that said there are still players who have stayed loyal and had great careers. Look at Dirk been on one team since he was drafted just won a championship last year. Tim Duncan multiple chips. Kobe Bryant. Paul Pierce. All champions. Hmm looks like the pattern here is good things come to those who wait.

  • First & Foremost

    How does taking on massive contracts allow your team to get better? Explain! How does a team that couldn’t find a buyer even when they had Chris Paul, find a buyer without having Chris Paul? Getting something rather than getting nothing isn’t always better. Reference people scratching themselves at the free clinic.

    Why would a team trade into the luxury tax and still not even make the playoffs. They were already not profitable and no one is lining up to see Scola or Martin.

    The NBA doesn’t want to own this team, but for now they have to. They are trying to do what is best for the franchise which is finding the best possible way to sell this team to a buyer. How many people do you know, own a Kevin Martin jersey?

    “What are these teams going to tell their players they tried trading?” The same line they tell players when they try to trade them… It’s business. Is Odom going to disappear more or less now that he was almost traded? His marriage is on the line, he needs to stay in the spotlight or else him and Kris will be in the same boat.

    Pau has had career years in LA, why would he want to leave? What would compel him to go to a team with sub par backcourt?

    The anonymous executive is sounding just as bad as Gilbert. These are grown men making tens of millions of dollars and his biggest point was what about their feelings. GTFOH! What about the city of New Orleans that will be stuck with a losing team. Letting Chris walk to free up cap space and then collect draft picks (since they had a fetish of trading picks anyway) wouldn’t be the end of the world.

  • BiGShoTBoB

    Let’s look at alltime greatest players – Magic(One team), Bird (One Team), Jordan (One Team), Olajuwan, I mean we could really go all day.

  • d

    No worries mate. The NBA will reverse its decision to save face.

  • thrillah

    I hope the Hornets do end up losing CP3 at the end of the season for nothing. I feel bad for the city of NO, but the league owns the Hornets and they were only looking out for themselves.

  • tobiath

    I wholeheartedly feel that the system of player movement in the English football (soccer) league is the fairest to all concerned. If a manager wants a player he can make an approach, then the team in receipt of the offer can either decline or accept and so long as the finance is available for the purchase to go through and the player is happy with the new team, contract on offer and other circumstances then the sale is made. The league is only there as a conduit and businesses are allowed to do business as they would in any other industry. If I decide I don’t want to work for my current employer I give notice and find a new job, why is this not possible for sports stars? Granted, the wealthiest teams get the most valuable players but it’s better than the system in America for all concerned.And in the case of NOH, if a team here has no money and can’t find a buyer (very, very rare) they shut down, again like any other business.

  • Taj

    David Stern is doing what most great leaders in history have done.. Overstayed his welcome! He’s gunning for ‘Emperor’ status now…

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Long before Stern was involved, the NBA has “rigged” things to their advantage. That’s just part of the game.

    The NBA implemented the shot clock so teams couldn’t play stall-ball and neutralize George Mikan while boring the fans. Everybody seems OK with that move now, even though I’m sure some coaches thought it was “communist” to basically tell them how to strategize.

    The NBA structured the Draft so that weaker teams could get better. Everybody seems OK with that move now, even though it would be more “fair” to have a all-teams Lottery or just let teams negotiate with and sign whatever players they wanted right out of college/high school.

    The NBA cost themselves millions of dollars in wasted production and promotion when they scrapped the “new” basketball after players complained about it. They could have just said “Deal with it,” but they decided to “rig” things in favor of the players.

    Now I’m not sitting here crying “poor NBA,” by no means, but those are just three moves made by the league to “rig” things in favor of even competition and fan entertainment. Since I don’t see a lot of complaining over those rules, it’s over-the-top to start calling for Stern’s head and accusing him of being a dictator just because this is one move you don’t agree with.

    How will the Lakers explain things to Odom? How will Houston deal with K-Mart and Scola? By telling them the same damn thing players say ALL THE TIME: “This is a business. It is what it is.”

  • Franchise

    STERN HAS TO GO. plain and simple. dude feels like he can do just about anything he wants.

    @first and foremost; u just dont get it do u?? this isnt about the actual trade anymore, this is about the integrity of the game and NBA as a whole. if individuals have the power to do this, u gotta wonder just how much tampering goes on behind the scenes. and as a result of that knowledgeable fans cannot continue to support their teams when therez suspicion of rigging flying all over the place. also, countless execs and analysts agree that this was as good a trade as any for Nawlins. that group of guys keeps them relevant for the mean time, plus they can always turn around and trade some of them for ur precious draft picks and cap space and as such start re-building while not sucking really bad. in what world is nothing better than something?? those free clinics that ur bashing save lives and provide relief to many ailing patients. pple who simply cannot afford any other form of treatment. guess u wud rather they jus lay down and die right??!! think before talking sh!t man….

  • Franchise

    @Austin ur just trying to start something man. all those moves u mentioned above actually make sense and there was probably consultation and dialogue between the league office and the teams before ratifying them. this is simply a case of a communist-like leader trying to appease his employers (the owners) and slapping down a DONE deal that took hours or even days to put together, while in the process undermining the authority of the personnel he had said he wont interfere with and will respect their decisions. as someone else pointed out here, why dint they nix the deal before it went public? why, in the first place, give a man supposed ‘authority’ when ur going to turn around and fuck up everything he’s done? this reeks of conspiracy and personal vendettas of owners trying to put players “in their place.” the players ARE the league. if u know someone who wud pay to watch the owners play let me know. these guys shud have a say as to where they want to play. this isn’t slavery (or is it??). the NBA is a sham. first the lockout, now this. fans shud boycott the games till Stern resigns and there is a complete make-over of the top brass.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    I’m loving what’s going on. Lol. Absolutely loving it.
    The league is a joke on both sides. The lockout resolved nothing. It’s like watching kids in a playground trying to 1-up eachother. If there were a gay basketball league, there would be less bitching.

    I going to watch my Clutch City: Road to the Championship DVD now.


  • peter

    2 things..
    1) I like @tobiath’s take on the English football system. I’d also love to see another process they have (that the NBA will never use, sadly), multiple divisions with promotion and relegation at the end of the season. Small market organizations that do their jobs well (Portland) get rewarded, and small market organizations that are absolutely incompetent (Cleveland) get pushed off the boat.

    2) Keep it simple to understand the CP3 fiasco (and the lockout): Stern is hired by the owners, so he does what the majority of the owners want. 25 of the 30 owners have small market franchises. Most of those guys didn’t like the CP3 deal, for whatever reason, so the deal gets killed. I think that those owners are sitting there wondering what they just did a 5-month lockout for if not to ensure that the big-market teams couldn’t collect all of the star players. I hope that NO is somehow able to keep CP3 and add the pieces to help him.

    As for CP3, how pissed can you be when you’re going to be paid $25M a year to play basketball?? I don’t feel bad for the guy at all, not for a nanosecond.

  • Joe’ Momma

    Stern didn’t kill the deal because he wanted to.

    he killed the deal because 2/3 of the NBA owners went bizzerk about the trade (you know, the guys who employ him….) And the NBA owns the Hornets, basically the Hornets “owners” killed the deal.

    Stern is a dictator, but I am more concerned about his rampant bullshit he spews on a daily basis rather than him trying to keep CP3 in a NOLA jersey until he can bolt next year

  • Blk Caesar

    @bigshotbob Those few guys are exceptions not the rule… Duncan (won a title his second year in the league and was lucky to have that supporting cast with an aging David Robinson), Kobe (we know that story and Shaq was there), Magic (came in and played with Kareem, Jamaal Wilkes, etc.. also won title his Rookie Year), Bird (please know this story also, won title quickly and then the real Big 3 was there for the years to follow), Olajuwon (went to the finals with Ralph Sampson early in his career and over the years the Rockets were a competitive team and you forget he was almost traded before the ’92- ’93 season during his contract dispute (yeah Olajuwon was going to bounce)), Jordan (we know that story also).. The only guy you mentioned that I will extend the loyalty credit to would be Pierce. He stayed, but he won when the Celtics finally put a team around him, but remember they only got Garnett bc they did not get the #1 pick in the 2007 draft.. So imagine if they did and they were going to pick Oden, Pierce might’ve bounced.. But luckily Ainge traded the rights to Jeff Green for Ray Allen and Mchale was the GM in MInny so Garnett agreed to go to Boston (remember he was trying to go to Phoenix to play with Nash) and hence Boston’s current team came together.. It truly depends on the organization and the owner. If your on a team where its clear they are trying to put a good team around you (Dirk) then yeah maybe you stay loyal but after a certain amount of time you’d be foolish not to weigh your options… Especially if the utlimate goal is to win a ring.. So I don’t blame Paul for leaving NOLA plus his knee issues will undoubtedly limit the years he will be able to play at this level so he should try to go somewhere with the chance to win sooner… I respect your view but I just think its crazy to stay somewhere just out of loyalty and waste your career..

  • Ian

    olajuwon?? toronto man toronto it was sad