"It's Dead" NBA Owners Kill Three-Team Deal

LOS ANGELES CA - FEBRUARY 01: Luis Scola #4 of the Houston Rockets is defended by Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at Staples Center on February 1 2011 in Los Angeles California. The Lakers defeated the Rockets 114-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

We were all ready to begin the Pau Gasol era in Houston. Optimism was in the air, surely Nene or even Marc Gasol would follow the bearded Spaniard into Houston for years of contention at the top of the Western Conference.

Perhaps the cost was a bit high, losing the two top scorers off the team was a bummer. Still, the Rockets finally found themselves a direction, a game plan that they had been so sorely lacking the last two years. Then, in one swift blow, it was all gone. The NBA's owners had pressured David Stern into killing the deal.

Now, we are back to the mediocre roster we'd been saddled with before. Back to relying on Kevin Martin as our best player, as Hasheem Thabeet, Jordan Hill, or Patrick Patterson as our potential starting center, to hoping that Scola's knee is completely healthy.

So David, there are few words that can describe the idiocy that you have just perpetuated against the Rockets, the Lakers, and the Hornets. Those three teams found a deal that suited each of their needs, agreed to it, and were ready to submit it tomorrow morning. No, David Stern had to cave to the owners one more time this year.

If Stern doesn't have the guts to say that this deal is a fair deal and one that is completely permitted under NBA rules, then he shouldn't be in that commissioner's chair.

You can be furious all you want as an owner about player movement to big markets just hours after you attempted to slow that in the previous CBA, but barring a complete removal of free agency, this is never going to happen. Stars will always want to go to Los Angeles and New York, and blocking ever deal that has one going there is bordering on insanity.

I tolerated Stern's shtick while he was negotiating the CBA because I knew that he was in a tough position, but this is the final straw. David, it's time to say goodbye.

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