Media Castigates Stern For Upholding CBA in Clippers-Celtics Deal

If you listen to LA sports talk radio, NBA Commissioner David Stern is the evil spawn of Darth Vader and John Wilkes Booth. He is to this day vilified for canceling the Lakers’ attempted acquisition of Chris Paul, and now he is the evil-doer putting the kabosh on the Clippers’ getting Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett.

Well, setting aside the fact the Stern is probably the most successful pro sports commissioner in the history of pro sports, having brought an also-ran, second class amalgam of separate interests together into a billion-dollar co-operative enterprise, in saying NO to the Clippers and Celtics, he has correctly interpreted the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The CBA prohibits teams from trading coaches for players. Period. The braintrusts that run the Boston and LA Clippers franchises either are ignorant of this FACT, or have chosen to ignore it, hoping to put one over on the Commish, the league, and, maybe most importantly, the players’ union.

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If Rivers is the key to future Clippers’ success, as it appears the team’s honchos believe, then they can work out a deal for draft choices and maybe money, for Rivers. Later on, and that is the key, they can go after Garnett in a COMPLETELY separate deal. Later on is better, for two reasons. First, the longer the delay, the more separate it will look and the Commish have less evidence that it is

not all one giant conspiracy, but rather really, really, two separate deals. Second, and more important in my mind, is the other shoe that I wrote about a few days ago, the Clippers effort to do a sign-and-trade with the Lakers, for Deeee-Wight Howard. The Celtics wanted Eric Bledsoe in the BIG deal, and the Clippers gave them an emphatic no, presumably because they wanted to package him with Blade Griffin in a Howard deal.

It would seem unlikely that the Clippers would even consider trading Griffin if they did not already have Garnett. So, unless they made some other deal, and soon, it would be likely that Howard will have either hit the free agency deadline or will have been sign-and-traded elsewhere before the Clippers and Celtics could complete a second unconnected deal.

As I previously said, the Clippers’ franchise would again be dead in the water with a lineup sans Griffin and Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan, but with Garnett and Paul Pierce and the laughing man Howard, even if coached by ole’ Doc. The new look Lakers with Griffin and Bledsoe would again be the toast of LA town, and a prime NBA contender.

There are several excellent NBA-caliber coaches out there, including the three others rumored to have the Clippers’ interest, Brian Shaw, Byron Scott, and Lionel Hollins. The best other guy (except of course for Phil Jackson) is the guy I thought they should go after, George Karl. But if they want to pay Doc $7 M per year, fine, just don’t make the team into the “Old and Slow” Clippers, and PLEASE do NOT trade Blake Griffin, and certainly not for the failed Lakers’ experiment, laughing man Deee-Wight.

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