Chris Paul Trade to the Los Angeles Killed by the NBA: Why That's Good

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIDecember 10, 2011

WINSTON-SALEM, NC - OCTOBER 01:  Chris Paul, of the New Orleans Hornets, speaks to the media prior to the CP3 All-Star pickup game at the Winston-Salem State University - C.E. Gaines Center on October 1, 2011 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Unlike most observers bashing the NBA for quashing the New Orleans Hornets trade of Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, I applaud it. It's about time the inmates stop running the asylum, or we'll end up with a few super teams and 25 comic foils like the Washington Generals, as Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said.

The three-way trade involving Paul was just the first piece of the puzzle. LA was opening up salary space to add Dwight Howard to the mix to build the West Coast version of the Miami Heat.

The fact that three players could conspire to "take their talents" to the same team and form a super power was something that the NBA was trying to stop. It ruins the competitive balance of the league when the players dictate where and whom they want to play with.

Other than the occasional Kevin Durant or Tim Duncan, players who are satisfied with a small-market team, most of the prime-time players are looking for the flash and cash that a South Beach or Hollywood provide.

While it may be great for the fans of those teams, it's poison for the small-market clubs and their fans.

Is it worth investing your time, your heart and your money in something doomed to fail year after year?

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Things weren't always this way. Back in the good old days, a player was drafted by a team, and you played there until you were traded or you retired.

The most successful teams were the best-run teams, not the ones in hot markets or with the deepest pockets. You couldn't buy a championship, but you could outsmart your counterparts by trading for a Bill Russell, or drafting a Larry Bird a year early and waiting a year for him to come on board.

Now you just strip your team down to the bare bones and announce you're open for business to the marquee free agents.

In the case with Paul, he's not even a free agent yet, but in anticipation of his freedom next year, he no longer wants to be held against his will in New Orleans. He's looking to strike oil and move to Beverly Hills and join up with Kobe to form the next version of Dynasty in La-La Land.

The collective bargaining agreement was supposed to negate players conspiring to play for one particular team. Collusion is illegal when it's the owners doing it, but when it's the players—no problem.

I would say the NBA has to nip this in the bud, but it's too late for that. It's time to lay down the law.

Since free agency is here to stay, the league needs to "strongly discourage" players from dictating where they want to play while they're still under contract with another team.

If that involves sanctions against them or something else that the powers to be come up with it, so be it.

Carmelo Anthony is playing in the "Big Apple" because his wife wanted to live there, so he forced the Denver Nuggets to give in to his whim.  

This country is about being free and living wherever you choose, but that applies to ordinary human beings.

You know who I'm talking about: the people who scrimp and save and are lucky to scrape together enough money to maybe attend one game and sit in the nosebleed seats, because they are not of the privileged class. In other words, the real fans.  

In the case of the players, they give away those freedoms because they need to rent a Brinks truck to carry away all the cash they make.

In the NBA, or sports in general, that shouldn't allow you to play wherever you want, even though you're under contract. It only allows you to live in a mansion that can house a small nation.

There are trade-offs you have to pay, and that is one of them.

It's unfortunate for the fans of New Orleans who may end up with nothing if he leaves via free agency, but them's the breaks.

Some have to suffer for others to prosper, and if the NBA can stop this nonsense from repeating itself, it will be well worth it.  

The phony media types can feign outrage and castigate the league for this move, but it's time the league put its foot down.

Unfortunately, the latest word is that the deal might not be dead, and the NBA just wants them to restructure it.

Players like Chris Paul have been spoiled their entire lives, and they aren't used to hearing the word no.

It's time to send them to bed without dessert, but it looks like he might still get his milk and cookies, and the fans will be stuck with the crumbs.