DALLAS (CBSSPORTS.COM) – David Stern has already tried to wipe the mess of the NBA owning the Hornets and trading Chris Paul clean. He’s tried to blame the frenzy last week on irresponsible journalists and outraged fans. He’s tried to say that everything was on the up and up.
But with the report out of Houston saying that Stern lied and the same coming from Los Angeles, it’s obvious that this isn’t going away. Especially since Mark Cuban piled on a bit when talking to TMZ.
“David Stern owning a team kind of threw us all under the bus. You know, we went through a long lockout, and one of the things we were trying to gain was that small-market teams could have confidence they could keep their star players. … And within two weeks of the new collective bargaining agreement, the smallest-market team, which is owned by the NBA, threw up their hands and said, ‘We can’t keep our star player.’
“So it’s not about Chris Paul. It’s more about the fact that the NBA kind of gave up on the CBA before giving it a chance, and to me, that made them hypocritical, very hypocritical, and that didn’t sit well with me.”
Cuban already said that but just not in as strong a way last week. He talked about how star players have a system where if they stay in their current market, they can make the most money. And that was part of what the labor fight was over. He called the league hypocrites for given in so easily. Dan Gilbert sent an email to Stern and it’s very likely that Cuban voiced his displeasure in the original trade as well. So he’s not really upset about the veto, but more with the whole mess created by the NBA owning the Hornets.
“You would think the team owned by the NBA and run by the commissioner would be the first to stick it out, and they weren’t. And to me, it’s hypocritical, and they threw a lot of us under the bus.”
Wouldn’t expect anything less than strong words from Cuban. And while he’s not necessarily talking about the failed three-team trade, he is talking about the way the whole thing got handled. It was a mess and remains so. The NBA needs to find a new owner quickly before more of this happens. Because Stern’s got at least three perturbed owners in Houston, Los Angeles and Dallas that didn’t like the way this all went down.