Lakers and Clippers move on to the 2nd round, but can either team advance?

NBA LA LA land. Lakers AND Clippers advance...but Stern's veto power won't help them go any further!

5/14/12 in NBA   |   The_Fan_Man   |   20 respect

The Los Angeles Lakers have advanced to the second round of the NBA Playoffs after edging out the Denver Nuggets in a suspenseful game 7 in Los Angeles.

May 10, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) reacts during the first half of game six in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.  Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Wake up Kobe.  To some of Los Angeles, advancing to the second round is a big deal!

May 11, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA;   Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) and Los Angeles Clippers small forward Caron Butler (5) on the bench as the Clippers tied the score in the second half of game 6 of the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center. Grizzlies won 90-88.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Cheer proudly Blake Grifin.  Keep that fist & a half pumped Caron Butler.  You guys have won a playoff series for only the third time in franchise history.  Though you couldn't have done it alone.  I think you and all 20 Clippers fans have someone to thank for this monumental moment in Los Angeles basketball history...

April 16, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; NBA commissioner David Stern at press conference announcing ownership to Tom Benson and the awarding of the 2014 All Star game to the city of New Orleans at the New Orleans Arena.   Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE 
"What can I say, the Lakers have too many stars already!"

Tell that to 90% of Los Angeles who now has to watch Chris Paul play on the 'other' Los Angeles team.  Thanks to the commish's overt abuse of power, a trade that would have sent the league's best true point guard to the Lakers was vetoed.  Less than a week later, Chris Paul still lands in LA, only to play on a team that people had only bothered going to see play in the past because the ticket prices were 50% cheaper.  This is the ONLY reason why the Clippers even exist,  Money!  And since the most populated city in the country still inexplicably lacks a football team, enough sports-hungry fans will come to watch a lesser team play.  

April 16, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; NBA commissioner David Stern at press conference announcing ownership to Tom Benson and the awarding of the 2014 All Star game to the city of New Orleans at the New Orleans Arena.   Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE  
"So what's your point?"

Thanks for asking Dave.  Is it alright that I call you Dave?

  "No."

Okay sorry it won't happen again Dave.  As I was saying, my point, Dave, is that after living in Los Angeles for five years, I can say first hand that until now, nobody cared about the Clippers and everyone cares about the Lakers.  Sure Blake Griffin earned a few casual fans abroad, but the love affair was with Blake Griffin and his ability to dominate SportsCenter's Top 10.  Nobody cared if his team won or lost by 20 as long as he kept dunking.  When it comes down to wins and losses, the majority of Los Angeles still wants the Lakers in the Finals and the Clippers, well, who cares what they do?!  I mean have you been to a Clippers home game?  The seats are purple and gold!  What does that tell you?

December 25, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers ten-year old fan Shaun Magid, from El Segundo, Ca, watches pre-game warm ups before the game against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE  
"Hey cut it out.  I have been a loyal Clippers fan for five months now!"

And Clippers Nation greatly appreciated your dedicated support...

May 9, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) is held back by point guard Mo Williams (25) after having a technical foul called on him during the second half of game five in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum.  The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 92-80.  Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE 
"Hey what's done is done.  I'm a Clipper now and we are still playing for an NBA Championship.  Why all the hate?"

Sorry Paul, it's nothing personal.  But thanks to Stern having vetoed a trade that would have perpetuated the success of LA's most revered team, instead we now have two above-average Los Angeles teams, neither of which are good enough to advance to the NBA Finals.

May 10, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) reacts during the second half of game six in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.  The Nuggets won 113-96.  Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE 
"I hate to admit it but I think you're right!"

Thank you Kobe, I knew you were a sensible guy.  The Denver Nuggets were a decent team.  Memphis was also pretty decent.  But neither team has the talent of an Oklahoma City Thunder squad or the consistency of a rejuvenated San Antonio Spurs team.  The Spurs and Thunder are excellent this year, as evidenced by their torrid regular seasons and manhandling of their first round opponents.  On the flip side, both the Lakers and Clippers barely eked out victories against lesser competition, and both squads enter the second round as clear underdogs.

Apr 29, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown talks to Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Blake (5)  in the first half of game one in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Staples Center.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE 
"So you're telling me an underdog can't win?"

No Steve Blake, some underdogs can win.  Heck every time you earn playing time as the Laker's point guard, an underdog is winning.  But after watching ageless wonder Andre Miller torch you and every other point guard who tried to guard him, I have a tough time believing anybody in the Clippers backcourt spare Kobe can handle guarding Russell Westbrook.  

May 12, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA;    Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) reacts in the second half of game seven of the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center.  Lakers won 96-87. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE  
"Hey I'll check Russell."

I'm sure you will Kobe, and you will do a pretty good job.  But Westbrook is not Andre Miller.  He runs.  Fast.  He will make you work so hard on the defensive end, your amazing offensive game will suffer.  And with Durant and Harden scoring in bunches, your team will need you to be as sharp as ever.

May 12, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA;   Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum (17) arrives for game seven in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE  
"I think you're forgetting about someone."

Sorry Bynum.  I will admit you have had a great year and at times last round, you looked dominant.  But Kendrick Perkins is more stout than Javale McGee and like ghosts, until I see you dominate a playoff series I won't believe the phenomenon exists.  That said, unlike the Spurs-Clippers series, the Lakers-Thunder matchup does not heavily favor the Thunder.  But if it weren't for Stern's veto, the Chris Paul-Kobe Bryant Lakers would have had an overwhelming advantage against the Thunder and any other team that tried to stop that would-have-been dynamic duo.  Instead, Stern voided an otherwise agreed upon deal and now fans in LA have to support one underdog or...

May 11, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA;   Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) and point guard Chris Paul (3) on the bench as the Clippers tied the score in the second half of game 6 of the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center. Grizzlies won 90-88.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE  

...the other.  

Prediction Time:

San Antonio Spurs defeat the Los Angeles Clippers in 5 games.

Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in 6 games.

*Los Angeles Lakers with Chris Paul would have defeated OKC in 5.
*Los Angeles Clippers without Chris Paul would not have made playoffs.

Your thoughts?
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5/15/12   |   The_Fan_Man   |   20 respect

agreed!

5/15/12   |   jaysinw   |   4982 respect

Chris Paul trade was in DEC of 2011 and the Hornets did not get a new owner till April 2012, and the NBA brought the Hornets from the George Shinn and Gary Chouest in 2010. So at the time they did not have a PERMANENT owner of the Hornets when Paul was traded. I cannot agree with what you said about a commissioner not having a say in the decisions that will drastically affect the team, I go back to the Montreal Expos in baseball and remember when the league owned the team and did the same thing so they could move the team out of Montreal and to DC. I may not like what they did, but from a business stand point it makes sense.


We may just have to agree to disagree on this.

5/15/12   |   The_Fan_Man   |   20 respect

jaysinw wrote:
To your point, who was running the Hornets when Stern made the veto.... that's right the league, so Stern would be acting as the Owner in the deal. So an owner would be able to say no to a deal that they feel is bad for the team, which is what Stern did. Like it or not, claim he is showing favorites over other teams. they have an GM, and owner(s) who could stand up and say no this deal is no good for my team.

mo one is asking him to veto every bad deal that comes across the table, I would bet if the Hornets go out and make a bad deal this off season Stern will not be involved, and why the league does not run the Hornets anymore.

Fair points Jay except that the deal was done. A PERMANENT owner who has interest in the longevity of one team and one team only can and should impact deals. However when you have an NBA Commissioner with clear conflicts of interest TEMPORARILY taking ownership of a basketball squad, he shouldn't have a say in decisions that will drastically affect the a team long after he forfeits ownership.

5/15/12   |   jaysinw   |   4982 respect

The_Fan_Man wrote:
I couldn't agree more with you that the Hornets trade was bad for the Hornets. When you look at all those contracts, I can't argue with you (though I do think Scola, even at 31, has more value than half the 20 something darlings in this league playing at the same position). But this isn't about whether it was a good trade or not. There are thousands of horrendous trades that happen year after year. You mentioned the Gasol trade...awful. How about the Billups-Iverson trade? Another awful deal. Jeff Green for Kendrick Perkins...I could go on and on and on but instead I will stop and make my point. Bad deals will happen because there are bad owners and worse GM's. Don't you think Timberwolves fans would have loved for Stern to step in and save their team from transaction ineptitude once or twice in the past five years? How about the deals the Wizards have attempted in years past... They could all use do-overs. But it doesn't work that way. Once a deal is done it's done. It sucks but that's the way it is. Just because you are Commissioner of the league and have bought a dying franchise TEMPORARILY, that doesn't mean you get to nix one bad deal because it's bad for the league...that's just playing favorites, and it's unfair for all the other fans that have to live with the awful decisions their teams have made. Okay sure this one time things may work out. Instead of a dominant Lakers team, we have parity and a competitive Clippers club that may continue to be make playoff appearances for years to come...but it's not right to give the league too much power, especially if it only happens once! Parity is great but equality ranks higher. If Stern is going to veto one bad deal, he has to do it for every single transaction that comes to the table...and that's just plain unrealistic.

To your point, who was running the Hornets when Stern made the veto.... that's right the league, so Stern would be acting as the Owner in the deal. So an owner would be able to say no to a deal that they feel is bad for the team, which is what Stern did. Like it or not, claim he is showing favorites over other teams. they have an GM, and owner(s) who could stand up and say no this deal is no good for my team.

mo one is asking him to veto every bad deal that comes across the table, I would bet if the Hornets go out and make a bad deal this off season Stern will not be involved, and why the league does not run the Hornets anymore.

5/15/12   |   Wards_Page   |   248 respect

It's really not that all inexplicable that LA doesn't have a football team. They did. Twice! And they got very little fan support. Maybe one day, if you're lucky, LA will get the Rams back. That would be pretty cool.

5/15/12   |   The_Fan_Man   |   20 respect

AJ_88 wrote:
Hmm..the fact that anyone still brings up the vetoed trade is kind of ridiculous --> Just take a look at the facts: In the Lakers trade, the Hornets, trying to attract a new owner, would have taken upon Kevin Martins contract ($11.5 mil this year, $12.5 next year), Lamar Odom's contract ($9 mil this year, $8.2 next), Luis Scolas contract ($8.5 this season, $9.5 in '12-'13, $10.2 mil in '13-'14, $11 mil in '14-'15). All the while, Scola is 31, Odom is 32, and Martin is 29. 

Now, if you're a multimillionaire and looking to make a "good" investment in a team --> that hornets team would have been a TERRIBLE investment. Again, look at the facts. 

Now, in the Clippers trade, they secured Eric Gordn (who is now a restricted free agent and will be brought back by new ownership bc he will be a bonafide star), Chris Kaman (who's contract expired at the conclusion of this year, giving the team cap space), Al-Farouq Aminu (rookie contract, has a good upside) AND minnesota's first round pick in this seasons draft. So they secured a better future for themselves and their new owner. And for the NBA. 


The fact that people still bring David Stern into this is insane. How about when the Lakers were "given" Pau Gasol and in turn won two titles? Remember who was involved in THAT trade? Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton and the rights to Pau's younger brother Marc. Tell me that wasn't a gift wrap at the time? Enough hating on the Clippers --> they dont need to apologize for being THE up and coming team in the league because they landed Chris Paul. 

Other than that?! At least your passionate! 

I couldn't agree more with you that the Hornets trade was bad for the Hornets. When you look at all those contracts, I can't argue with you (though I do think Scola, even at 31, has more value than half the 20 something darlings in this league playing at the same position). But this isn't about whether it was a good trade or not. There are thousands of horrendous trades that happen year after year. You mentioned the Gasol trade...awful. How about the Billups-Iverson trade? Another awful deal. Jeff Green for Kendrick Perkins...I could go on and on and on but instead I will stop and make my point. Bad deals will happen because there are bad owners and worse GM's. Don't you think Timberwolves fans would have loved for Stern to step in and save their team from transaction ineptitude once or twice in the past five years? How about the deals the Wizards have attempted in years past... They could all use do-overs. But it doesn't work that way. Once a deal is done it's done. It sucks but that's the way it is. Just because you are Commissioner of the league and have bought a dying franchise TEMPORARILY, that doesn't mean you get to nix one bad deal because it's bad for the league...that's just playing favorites, and it's unfair for all the other fans that have to live with the awful decisions their teams have made. Okay sure this one time things may work out. Instead of a dominant Lakers team, we have parity and a competitive Clippers club that may continue to be make playoff appearances for years to come...but it's not right to give the league too much power, especially if it only happens once! Parity is great but equality ranks higher. If Stern is going to veto one bad deal, he has to do it for every single transaction that comes to the table...and that's just plain unrealistic.

5/14/12   |   jaysinw   |   4982 respect

Besides what AJ just said I do agree it is asinine that people still bring up the Stern veto. He did his job and look what else it did, made a team relevant in the NBA and in one of the largest markets, which in the past no one care to watch. If the Clippers continue to win this year great, more money pumped into the NBA, if not there is next year. As long as the Clippers are making a play-off push each year, the NBA won, and that is thanks to David Stern's veto.

5/14/12   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

Hmm..the fact that anyone still brings up the vetoed trade is kind of ridiculous --> Just take a look at the facts: In the Lakers trade, the Hornets, trying to attract a new owner, would have taken upon Kevin Martins contract ($11.5 mil this year, $12.5 next year), Lamar Odom's contract ($9 mil this year, $8.2 next), Luis Scolas contract ($8.5 this season, $9.5 in '12-'13, $10.2 mil in '13-'14, $11 mil in '14-'15). All the while, Scola is 31, Odom is 32, and Martin is 29. 

Now, if you're a multimillionaire and looking to make a "good" investment in a team --> that hornets team would have been a TERRIBLE investment. Again, look at the facts. 

Now, in the Clippers trade, they secured Eric Gordn (who is now a restricted free agent and will be brought back by new ownership bc he will be a bonafide star), Chris Kaman (who's contract expired at the conclusion of this year, giving the team cap space), Al-Farouq Aminu (rookie contract, has a good upside) AND minnesota's first round pick in this seasons draft. So they secured a better future for themselves and their new owner. And for the NBA. 


The fact that people still bring David Stern into this is insane. How about when the Lakers were "given" Pau Gasol and in turn won two titles? Remember who was involved in THAT trade? Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton and the rights to Pau's younger brother Marc. Tell me that wasn't a gift wrap at the time? Enough hating on the Clippers --> they dont need to apologize for being THE up and coming team in the league because they landed Chris Paul. 

Other than that?! At least your passionate!