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I must admit, former NBA Commissioner David Stern doesn't hold back. In an interview with SI's Chris Ballard, Stern let it all out and had some direct comments on the New Orleans Pelicans - their General Manager Dell Demps - and the possibility the team may lose superstar Anthony Davis.


Stern's diatribe against Demps started when Ballard brought up the proposed 2011 trade of New Orleans star Chris Paul to the Lakers. David was NBA Commissioner at the time, and the NBA was actually the owner of the (then) Hornets. Stern vetoed the trade and took a lot of flak from all directions - understandably so (per Wikipedia):

On December 8, 2011, Stern vetoed a three-team trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, Lamar Odom to the league-owned Hornets, and Pau Gasol to the Rockets for what a spokesman would only say were "basketball reasons". Early reactions from around the league, fanbase, and media were all largely negative, with players taking to Twitter to express their concerns, and several noted sports journalists criticizing the decision. The deal was maligned especially because of the conflict of interest posed by the league's ownership of one of its teams.

Stern did his best to defend his decision to veto the trade for "basketball reasons" and made it a point to point out his (to be gentle) lack of respect for Demps (per SI's Chris Ballard):

"I didn't do a great job of explaining it at the time. There was a trade that [New Orleans GM] Dell Demps wanted us to approve and I said heck no... But Dell Demps is a lousy general manager... and he may lose Anthony Davis."


As far as AD and the Pelicans, they are both off to a great start. The team has a 3-0 record, and The brow is averaging an unbelievable 30.3 PPG, 13.0 RPG, 5.3 APG, 2.0 SPG and 3.3 BPG, while shooting 59% from the field and 75% on treys. It is only three games, but we are looking at MVP-type numbers here.

Davis is 25 years old and in his prime. His time is now. DeMarcus Cousins is gone to Golden State but Davis, Nikola Mirotic and Jrue Holiday form a solid trio, while Julius Randle is off to a fine start with the Pels. But the real question is whether or not The Brow truly believes he has a real shot at a Championship with this crew. Without additional help, that seems unlikely. And if Stern is correct about Demps being a "lousy GM", things may not change in New Orleans - Anthony may become restless - and the Celtics Danny Ainge, never known as a lousy GM, would certainly consider bringing Davis on board if the price was right.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC and Facebook

Photos via Taylor Ballantyne/Sports Illustrated and Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports

Tom Lane 10/25/2018 06:14:00 AM Edit
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