What David Stern did last night was unethical. When the commissioner blocks a trade that would send arguably the best point guard in the game to the most glamorous team in the league due to the transaction not fulfilling "the best interests of the game" something is horribly wrong.
Bill Simmons hits all the rights notes in his latest Grantland column about why this power move feels so wrong. This blockade smacks of NBA owners, who collectively own the New Orleans Hornets, imposing their wills on Stern. They whined to get what they wanted from the lockout and now they whine and win again. It sets a unfair precedent the likes of which sports fans haven't seen since the arcane days of pre-free agency baseball when players were essentially treated like property.
New Orleans GM Dell Demps was supposedly "disconsolate" following last night's cancellation. Who could blame him? Demps is working in a no-win situation yet still managed to orchestrate a blockbuster deal that would have maximized a return on Chris Paul. It got leaked that Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, perhaps the whiniest and most shameful of all the NBA owners (and that's saying something), wrote Stern an email pleading with him to not let the trade go through. Gilbert wishes he had a GM with the foresight to trade a NBA superstar before he flees your mediocre franchise.
Paul is now likely a lameduck with the Hornets for the entire season and will certainly not resign with the team in 2012. Had Chris been traded to the Lakers he would have been able to sign a huge contract extension as well as benefit from a season of playing in Hollywood. The nixed traded probably cost him several tens of millions in potential wages and marketing. Yea, no wonder he's allegedly reached out to Billy Hunter about the possibility of suing the NBA.
The NBA: Where Appalling Happens