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#pounditFriday, September 18, 2020

Pelicans respond to David Stern calling GM Dell Demps ‘lousy’

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The New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday released a statement in defense of GM Dell Demps, who faced some criticism from former NBA commissioner David Stern.

SI published a feature by Chris Ballard on Wednesday that stemmed from a day Ballard spent with Stern in August. In the article, Stern explains why he wouldn’t approve the Chris Paul to the Lakers trade in 2011. In the process, Stern criticized Demps, who remains the Pelicans’ GM.

“[Demps] had agreed to [trade Paul to the Lakers for] Kevin Martin and Luis Scola or something, and I said we can do better than that…. And the next trade was [to the Clippers for] Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu and what we thought was a really great draft pick, the 10th pick, which turned out to be Austin Rivers. At least those three and someone else [center Chris Kaman]. But Dell Demps is a lousy general manager and none of those players are currently with the team anymore, and he may lose Anthony Davis,” Stern said.

The Pelicans didn’t like hearing Demps called “lousy” and released a statement.

“We are very disappointed to read the inappropriate and inaccurate comments from the former NBA Commissioner regarding the New Orleans Pelicans. Our organization has the utmost confidence in our General Manager, Dell Demps. He is part of our family, the NBA family. We are excited about the direction of our team, the 3-0 start of the season, building on the success of the 2017/18 playoffs. Finally, our organization is excited and proud to be part of the NBA with the progressive and innovative leadership of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver,” the statement said.

Demps has been with the Pelicans since 2010. The team has made the playoffs just three times during his tenure. Their 48-34 season last year was the best under his watch.

The vetoed Chris Paul trade remains a sore subject for many. Former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak even admitted a few years later that he still was not over it.

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