December 8th, 2011. Turn on your TV to ESPN and every show had been cancelled.
“Breaking News” is read from the bottom line of your screen. Yep. Your reading that right.
The line reads
“Los Angeles Lakers have acquired Superstar Point Guard Chris Paul”
and your jaw is open without you realizing it. You go bed a terrified western conference team’s fan with the realization that the Lakers that were already title contenders with Kobe, are now even stronger with CP3.
But wait! A few hours pass and all is good again!
The NBA has made the world right again. Spurs and Warriors fan rejoice! The bottom line still reads
“Breaking News: CP3 headed to LA”
Except its not in purple and gold.
No. The NBA decided to veto the trade that would send Kobe his Robin and robbed the Lakers of a potential championship run (we’ll come back to this later.) and made a deal that changed the NBA world forever.
We’ll get on what could have been in a second. I wanna remind everyone on what it was like prior to the trade.
Chris Paul was fresh off an All-Star season. 16 PPG, almost 10 assists per game and a league leading 2.4 SPG. Paul was going into a contract year and didn’t seem interested in resigning.
Lamar Odom just came off a season where he averaged almost 15 points per game and added 9 TRB as well. Lamar was a part of the Laker family and would have never left the Lakers if it were his choice.
Pau Gasol was averaging 19 PPG, 10 boards, and a mean 1.7 blocks per contest. Pau was a huge part of the Lakers title run and was acquired in what some may say was a unfair trade as it was.
The Lakers had just come off a devastating playoff run in which they were swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round. With a 57-25 record, they were the only team that seemed like they had a chance bar San Antonio.
The Hornets were coming off a loss in the first round to none other then the Los Angeles Lakers. With a 46-36 regular season record, they seemed to be that team that had one All-Star that didn’t have enough help to win, but didn’t fail enough to pick high enough for a Robin.
Stay tuned for part two.