Curse of the Chris Paul Trade
I can actually say I feel sorry for the Lakers. They have officially hit rock bottom after losing to the Clippers 142-94. This 48 point loss is the worse in Laker history and for it to happen against the Clippers make it even worse. Since the Chris Paul trade was vetoed, the Clippers have became the new "showtime" in the Staples Center while the Lakers have taken the backseat.
Since the Lakers moved from Minneapolis back in 1960, LA has belonged to them. The Clippers, who were formerly the Buffalo Braves, didn't come to LA until the 1984 but they haven't done anything since they came to LA, only 6 playoff appearances. Things have changed now though. Drafting Blake Griffin in 2009 was the beginning of what we are witnessing now. Since Blake came into the league he has improved, and tremendously this season. I give credit to Doc Rivers for that. In 2011 is where the tide really changed in my opinion. The Lakers, Rockets and Hornets made a 3 team trade that would look like this;
Rockets receive: Pau Gasol
Hornets receive: Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic, and 2012 1st round pick
Lakers receive: Chris Paul
Unfortunately for all parties involved, David Stern wasn't feeling this deal. Stern used his power as commissioner and vetoed the trade, leaving players, GMs, and fans in limbo. For some reason a few owners in the NBA complained to Stern, one in particular being Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who called the deal a "travesty". Since the Hornets didn't have an owner at the time, all 30 NBA teams, including Stern, owned the team. Hornets GM Dell Demps had the impression he had control of the all basketball operations but obviously that wasn't the case. Stern came out and said that the trade wasn't vetoed because of outraged owners or small market teams but because of "basketball reason" that we never found out.
A week later, Paul was traded to the other LA team for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, and Al-Farouq Aminu and a couple picks. Of course this deal also had to be approved by Commissioner Stern and everybody involved was happy, except for the Lakers. Kobe expressed his ill feelings about the trade on twitter and Mitch Kupchak was left confused. Now 27 months later, the Lakers have been burlesque and this 48 point loss proves it. Chris Paul was supposed to be the building block for the future and the next man up after Kobe, but instead they had a waste of a season with Dwight Howard last year and can't seemed to get Kobe back on the court after he tore his Achilles last April and fractured his knee cap in January.
The reason why I think this is a curse is because nothing positive has happened for the Lakers since that trade was vetoed. The 2011-12 lockout season ended with a 4-1 series loss to the Thunder, who eventually went on to play in the Finals. The 2012-13 season was a complete circus, with a coach being fired after 5 games, 25-29 record at All-Star break, Kobe and D-Howard feud, the passing of long time owner Jerry Buss, and 4-0 1st round exit to the Spurs. The worst part about it, the starting 5 included Kobe, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Metta Worldpeace, and D-Howard but they struggled to make the playoffs. Currently this season, the Lakers are 21-41 with no superstar talent and last in the Pacific, while the Clippers are 1st in the division, on their way to a 2nd straight division title.