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Since the NBA purchased the New Orleans Hornets, final responsibility for significant management...

Since the NBA purchased the New Orleans Hornets, final responsibility for significant management decisions lies with the Commissioner's Office in consultation with team chairman Jac Sperling. All decisions are made on the basis of what is in the best interests of the Hornets. In the case of the trade proposal that was made to the Hornets for Chris Paul, we decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade.

David Stern's official statement regarding the veto of the Chris Paul trade. As we knew he would, Stern has taken the position that this was an action undertaken by the ownership of the Hornets, not by the NBA. This is the only logical recourse for him to take, and will probably work. The position is transparently disingenuous - there's no way to disentangle the two entities, the conflict of interest is massive, and Dell Demps was working under the impression that he had the authority to make any deal - but as they say, "That's my story and I'm sticking to it." Owners can block deals - Donald Sterling does it all the time. It's never a good idea, and in the best case scenario Stern places himself in the company of Sterling as a meddlesome owner sabotaging his own GM and his team's best interests, but it's the only defensible position. The fact that last night's statement placed the decision with the "league office" and came from Tim Frank, pretty clearly an NBA employee, is suspicious to say the least. If this was always about Hornets ownership, then would not the statement have said so? Why have Frank release the statement instead of Jac Sperling? Why say the "league office" when you mean "the ownership of the Hornets"? I understand that the "league office" can be interpreted as being the same, but you could avoid confusion by being explicit about which hat the decision maker is wearing. It feels like a face-saving strategy cooked up after the fact, but whatever. I think this more or less closes this chapter. There's not much anyone can do about it at this point. Where Paul goes, what the Hornets end up with in return (guaranteed to be less than they would have gotten in this deal, definitely putting the lie to Stern's statement above), how players like Odom and Gasol and Scola respond all remains to be seen. But other than legal action (which is certainly a possibility) I don't see anything anyone can do about this trade in particular.
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