Do you remember where you were on December 8, 2011?

Far from the typical “on this date”, we look back at something that no It happened 10 years ago to this day.

I remember where I was: Three months after leaving New Orleans for high school in New Hampshire, this tweet hit my phone:

(Yes, Woj Bombs has been around for over 10 years. Plus, has it been 10 years ?!)

Things moved a little differently back then, but as details leaked out, Wojnarowski cleared up the package, sharing that it would be a three-team deal that would send Chris Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Rockets and the trio. by Lamar Odom, Kevin. Martin and Luis Scola for the New Orleans Hornets.

It was a strange time. We were literally two weeks away from Thanksgiving, which was the date the NBA and NBPA agreed to end an ongoing lockdown, meaning the 2011-12 season would begin on Christmas Day. Amid a deluge of free agency news, it became clear that Paul no longer wanted to be in New Orleans and we soon learned that he was destined to be a Laker …

Or so we think.

Less than two hours later Wojnarowski reported that an agreement had been reached in principle., he followed saying league owners pressured commissioner David Stern to kill the deal.

As of 9:15 ET on December 8, 2011. The deal was canceled. What happened?

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♬ original sound – The Sporting News

Why did David Stern veto the trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers?

When this story is told, an important detail is often overlooked.

In December 2010, less than a year before the reported deal, the NBA bought the Hornets from George Shinn and Gary Chouest. Yes, the franchise was owned and operated by the league itself. When the sale became official, league spokesman Mike Bass told the New York Times that “decisions that alter the franchise will ultimately be reviewed by the league.”

I think the decision to trade one of the greatest point guards of all time could be seen as an alteration to the franchise.

A series of tweets from Wojnarowski can take you back to how things progressed until the deal finally fell through.

First, it was a report that the owners were pushing to terminate the deal:

The owners were “furious that the league-owned Hornets were allowed to make a deal with Paul.” according to Wojnarowski. Its reason for being? Fresh out of a lockout, this wasn’t exactly looking good.

When the dust settled, Wojnarowski reported that then-Commissioner Stern was not going to allow Paul to dictate where he played.

In reviewing how the saga unfolded, it is often seen as a conspiracy against the Lakers or simply how Stern positions himself against this type of player movement. The conspiracy theory is weightless, but there is something to be said for player empowerment here.

Ultimately, it all goes back to league ownership of the team, which is the root of things that progress to the point of a business veto.

But it’s always fun to wonder …

(Fake images)

How would Chris Paul have looked with the Lakers?

As we know, Paul ended up in Los Angeles, just across the aisle, as the “Lob City” era of the LA Clippers franchise began.

In the 2011-12 season, Paul averaged 19.8 points, 9.1 assists and 2.5 steals, earning All-NBA First Team and Defensive First Team honors for a Clippers team that finished with a 40-26 record on the season. shortened by blocking. good for the fifth seed in the West.

Across the aisle, Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was the only other point guard named to the NBA’s first team in 2011-12 with averages of 27.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists. The Lakers earned the third seed in the West with a 41-25 record and advanced to the second round of the playoffs, where they lost to eventual Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder.

With Paul and Bryant, it’s no secret that the Lakers would have the best backcourt in the NBA that season and possibly one of the best backcourts to ever share the court. Always.

Would they have been a safe bet to win the title? Well that’s another story.

Let’s not forget that the deal that would have gotten Paul would also have sent Gasol to Houston. That season, Gasol averaged 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds in 65 games, though his averages took a step back in the second round.

The Lakers needed seven games to come out of the first round against an energetic Nuggets team before retiring to the upstart Thunder in five. Paul might have stymied Russell Westbrook, but would they have an answer for Kevin Durant, who made his appearance as a superstar during the 2012 NBA Playoffs?

If they beat the Thunder, would Bynum be enough to deal with Tim Duncan, the anchor for a Spurs team that had the best record in the league? Paul would have been a perfect fit with Tony Parker, but that series is when Gasol’s absence would have really been felt.

At the time, the West was a glove and no move would guarantee him a championship, but the acquisition of Paul would have extended Bryant’s prime. No doubt.

LA isn’t moving to acquire Steve Nash, but it could still bring in Dwight Howard. In one of those seasons, there is no question that a Paul-Bryant backcourt would win an NBA title, which would have altered the legacy of all parties involved.

This hypothesis could go much further, which is why they are so funny. But for now, it’s always fun to ask yourself “what if?” …