Jeanie Buss opened up about why Chris Paul didn’t join the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2011.
Buss, then vice president of business operations of the Lakers, said the trade failed to materialize due to the miscommunication between then NBA Commissioner David Stern and then-New Orleans general manager Dell Demps.
“So if you remember we were in a lockout, right? When there’s a lockout, there’s a moratorium on everything: you can’t make trades, you can’t do anything.
As we were making a deal with the union and then starting to lift the lockout rules, all the representatives of the teams had to be in New York for Board of Governors meeting to ratify the new CBA. And so as we’re in this room, all of a sudden, there’s kind of this rumor that goes in around the room about a trade.
Well, at that time, the team was run by the league, right? So there’s no way a trade can be happening if we’re all in this room doing league business. Except the [New Orleans] general manager of the team felt that he had the authority to make a trade.
So the trade was happening while everybody is in this room, so teams felt like ‘How is that possible? We didn’t get a chance to make a trade for Chris Paul?’ And so they all attacked the league and said this wasn’t fair,” Jeanie Buss told Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes in the “All the Smoke” podcast, via Lakers Nation.
Eventually, Paul joined the Los Angeles Clippers and spent several years there, failing to win the NBA championship.