Final Play: Fred Hickman's Final Word - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Final Play: Fred Hickman's Final Word

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While I have the greatest respect for NBA Commissioner David Stern and regard for all the groundbreaking work he’s done over the years to save, revive and prosper the league, I think he and the owners have blown it big time regarding the Chris Paul situation.

We all know that the new collective bargaining agreement has just gone into place and that all 30 teams in the league are scrambling to make trades, sign free agents and set rosters before the truncated 66 game season opens Christmas Day.

Most teams can conduct business as usual, but not ours.

The New Orleans Hornets are, of course, owned by the league. That means the commission, who answers to the other 29 owners, is hamstrung when it comes to decision making with the Hornets.

Hornets General Manager, Dell Demps, who did… not a good… but, a GREAT job putting together a deal which would have made Chris Paul happy with the Lakers, and the Hornets happy with Lamar Odom plus numbers and picks, was undercut.

It seems to me that guys like Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban, who took advantage of the old CBA to beef up his roster and then voted against the recently ratified CBA, are ticketed by the so-called “new deal” in the NBA- a system which benefitted his franchise. But, let’s not forget the Hornets-Lakers-Rockets trade would benefit teams which are all in his conference. Smaller market teams or not, what do you want, Mr. Cuban? To help the smaller market teams to compete or to help your franchise dominate?

Either is okay, but not both. The Mavs, Cavs and others have made their opinions known to Commissioner Stern. Fine. He has acted with them in mind.

The problem is that the odd team out is New Orleans, which will either lose Paul to free agency for nothing after this season or trade him at some point before the March deadline for less value than they would have gotten this past week.

How on Earth this, as the league says, does the Hornets franchise good service and helps convince a local owner to buy, is way beyond me.

By the way, thanks for buying the 10,000 season tickets.

That’s my Final Word.

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