Paul, now in his third season with the Clippers, was originally set to be traded to the Lakers as part of a three-team deal also involving the New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets. Though a trade had been agreed upon that would have sent CP3 to the Lakers, the league, which was controlling the franchise after acquiring it from George Shinn, later turned down the deal for “basketball reasons.” Less than a week later, the Clippers pulled off a trade for Paul and have become the top team in the city.
Kupchak was speaking to fans at a season-ticket holder event on Sunday about how the new CBA has helped create more competitive balance within the league. He was complimentary of Stern for globalizing the game, but he mentioned the Paul trade.
“He’s done so much for this [league with] his vision,” Kupchak said via the Los Angeles Times. “. . . We’ll miss him, with the exception of one moment.”
Lakers broadcaster Stu Lantz, who was moderating the event, asked whether Kupchak had forgiven Stern for that.
“No I haven’t,” Kupchak answered.
We doubt that Lakers fans have, either. They probably will never get over the rejection of the deal, and the words “basketball reasons” will always be a sore spot for them. As for Kupchak, well, he usually finds a way to build a successful team, and we have no idea he’ll figure that out again.
Chest bump to Slam