NBA

This Date in NBA History (Dec. 8): Commissioner David Stern vetoes trade that would send Chris Paul to the Lakers

On Dec. 8 in 2011, then NBA Commissioner David Stern vetoed a three-team trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.

It would have paired CP3 with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles but it also had a lot of other moving parts. As per multiple reports at that time, here's a look at the players involved (excluding future draft picks) in the full deal between the Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and the Houston Rockets.

Los Angeles Lakers: PG Chris Paul (from Hornets)

New Orleans Hornets: F Lamar Odom (from Lakers), SG Kevin Martin (from Rockets), PF Luis Scola (from Rockets), PG Goran Dragic (from Rockets)

Houston Rockets: PF Pau Gasol (from Lakers)

Despite the public reaction to the decision, Stern was within his capacity to deny the trade as the league owned a majority stake in the Hornets. Years later, after he had stepped down as the NBA's Commissioner, Stern clarified and explained his decision.

"I'm going to correct your language: What 'cancelation'? The GM [Dell Demps] was not authorized to make that trade," Stern told Brian Berger on the Sports Business Radio Road Show. "And acting on behalf of owners, we decided not to make it. I was an owner rep. There was nothing to 'void.' It just never got made."

A few days later, Paul was traded to the LA Clippers for Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman and the Timberwolves' unprotected pick in 2012. That deal combined him with Blake Griffin in Los Angeles, thus, giving birth to 'Lob City'.

At the end of that ensuing lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, the Hornets were bought by the late Tom Benson, who was also the owner of the NFL's New Orleans Saints.

Other notable events on Dec. 8

  • In 1961, Wilt Chamberlain scored 78 points - then the second-highest scoring performance in an NBA game. It came in a triple-overtime 151-147 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. 45 years later, Kobe Bryant surpassed this points tally when he exploded for 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.
  • In 1998, the NBA announced that the ensuing All-Star Weekend including the 49th Annual NBA All-Star Game scheduled for February 14 at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, would be cancelled. This was the first time that the annual event had been cancelled, which was due to a labour dispute between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association.
  • In 1999, Charles Barkley's career unofficially came to an end. It all occurred in Philadelphia when he attempted to block a shot by the Sixers' Tyrone Hill. He tore the left quadriceps tendon away from the kneecap in the first quarter of Houston's 83-73 loss to the 76ers. He would play a few token minutes in the final game of the season, against the Vancouver Grizzlies, which would then officially be the final game of his career.
  • In 2000, Shaquille O'Neal missed all of his 11 free-throw attempts against the Seattle SuperSonics. In doing so, he broke a 40-year-old record, previously held by Wilt Chamberlain (10), for the most free throw attempts without a make in a game.
  • In 2011, the 161-day lockout between the NBA and the NBPA that began on July 1st, 2011, officially ended. Free agency, trades and training camps began the next day.
  • In 2019, Anthony Davis records the fourth 50-point game of his career. In a 142-125 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, he finished with numbers of 50 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Recent game-winning buzzer-beaters on Dec. 8

Blake Griffin vs. Phoenix Suns in 2014

Andrew Bogut vs. Indiana Pacers in 2010

Derek Fisher vs. LA Clippers in 2010

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