You are on page 1of 6

Yacob 1

Yacob, Isaac
Professor Jackie Hymes
ENG 115
12 November 2014
Lakers Downfall
What if? That is all Laker fans are left able to say. What if Chris Paul was able to
come to Los Angeles and join Kobe Bryant and the Lakers like he did, for three hours? It
was December 9th, 2011 when David Stern, then NBA Commissioner at the time,
announced the shocking news that he was going to veto the “Chris Paul trade” to the
Lakers. Chris Paul was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers from 7:05pm-9:23pm on
December 9th, the David Stern announcement ended all the Laker fans’ dreams before
they even got to enjoy them. People say there are many different reasons causing the
Lakers to fallout of their prestige and glory, but this certainly started it.
It is April of 2011, and the NBA playoffs are beginning. The Los Angeles Lakers
just made it to the NBA Finals for the last three years and won the NBA Championship
for the last two. They have a second seat in the Western Conference, which is a very high
seat to have. They are ready to endure another long playoff grind to the Championships
and are poised to win another NBA Championship and get another “Three-Peat” for their
coach Phil Jackson. Phil Jackson was determined to retire from Coaching after the 2010
NBA season, but since he won back-to-back championships, the City of Angels
convinced him to stay on for more seasons since he always won his championships in
sets of threes.

Yacob 2
With Phil Jackson’s return, the defending NBA Champs were looking to “ThreePeat” again, but the Basketball God’s had something else planned. The Los Angeles
Lakers played the New Orleans Hornets; known as Pelicans, and controlled the series
with a comfortable four games to two series win. The Lakers looked prepared for another
post-season domination like the previous three seasons. However, the Los Angeles
Lakers shockingly were swept four games to none by the Dallas Mavericks. This Lakers
lose was such a devastations toward the franchise, management had no choice but to look
to better the team this up coming off-season.
Mitch Kupchak, the Los Angeles Lakers General Manager knew the Lakers
needed a mix up after an embarrassing post season like 2011. Laker fans around the
world always said, “In Mitch We Trust” showing their trust level to Mitch comparable to
a God like figure. He usually finds a way to satisfy the Laker’s loyal fan base either with
a good draft pick, off-season move, or a blockbuster deals sending superstars to the Los
Angeles Lakers. His track record so far has been outstanding and leaves little space for
disappointment. On December 9th Mitch Kupchak was doing his job, attempting to
improve the Laker franchise in the future by trading for Chris Paul, an All-Star Point
Guard, however; David Stern struck.
Once David Stern vetoed the Chris Paul trade that would have sent him to the Los
Angeles Lakers, Huston Rockets would have gotten Pau Gasol (All star player), New
Orleans Hornets would of have gotten Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Lamar Odom (All Star
Caliber player), Gordan Dragic, and the 2012 NBA Draft 1st-round pick. That is a lot to
give up for one player, but Chris Paul was worth it, he is arguably the best Point Guard in
the current NBA. Lakers gave up two essential players in their two NBA Championships,

Yacob 3
and three Final appearances. When David Stern denied this transaction, which has never
been done before by a NBA Commissioner, he claimed it was due to “Basketball
Reasons.” Stern claims that there was not enough young talent but the New Orleans
Hornets seems to be receiving proven talent. However, David Stern let the trade go
though for the Los Angeles Clippers who traded Eric Gordon and several future draft
picks for Chris Paul.
One of the reasons David Stern vetoed this trade, was because other NBA owners
complained saying the Lakers would be too good, and they would be a super team,
however; Mitch Kupchak was doing his job, which was to make the Lakers a better team.
Years later LeBron James decided to team up with three other Hall of Famers: Ray Allen,
Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh but no one said a word. After the vetoed trade, “The front
office knew it was time to cash out of their frontcourt to move in a new direction, but the
post-trade veto changed the course of the Lakers' franchise history” (Drew Garrison). The
vetoed trade did not prepare the Lakers for the future and began all the negative effects
that caused the Laker downfall. In “Kobe Didn’t Cause This” by Drew Garrison, he
proclaims, “Kobe had nothing to do with that, and the veto is the most damaging thing to
happen to the Lakers franchise since Shaq's departure or Magic Johnson's early
retirement. It left them incapable of getting the kind of investment necessary for their
assets to reshape the team” (Drew Garrison).
After getting teased with the Chris Paul trade, the Lakers sucked it up the
following season and played with what they had. They made playoffs but did not do
much damage in it. Then summer of 2012-2013 Mitch Kupchak managed one of the best
deals in years and brings Super Star Center Dwight Howard and a two-time MVP veteran

Yacob 4
Steve Nash to the Lakers. Now imagine that one of the most dominant Centers in West
and one of the best passers in NBA history along side with the Black Mamba (Kobe
Bryant) the best shooting guard in the league. All of Los Angeles was in a frenzy when
they heard about the trade because now they had their “Big 3” and there was nothing in
their way to stop them from a championship right? Wrong. At first they begin a shaky
start and not winning any preseason games, next you can see trouble starting to build with
team chemistry. All of Los Angeles is having doubts but its okay they’ll manage to fix
the chemistry and get back on their feet? Instead of that, injuries built up and the
“unstoppable” teams became stoppable when they were missing many key players like
Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, and Dwight Howard. Everyone’s thinking all right we lost a few
key players but at least we still have Kobe right? You can see from the losing streak that
they were on that Kobe and the Lakers were having a hard time finding a compatible way
to play with each other and struggle to win games. When you always have players in and
out the line up it is hard to play with each other and build that chemistry. “The Lakers
lost an NBA-high 320 games to injuries last season” (Bobby Eghabli).
All of these injuries affected the Lakers play thought out Dwight’s tenured with
the Purple and Gold. “They also traded Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard. It's still a
great trade that any team would have done. But when the Lakers traded for Howard they
brought him into an old, mis-constructed team that was on the decline. If Howard had
been brought into a better situation — say, a team with Chris Paul at the helm — things
would have been different” (Tony Manfred). NBA analyst believes it would have been a
different story if Chris Paul was teamed up with Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant in Los
Angeles. To add insult to injury, Kobe Bryant ended up tearing Achilles on the second to

Yacob 5
last game of the season after an amazing playoff push by the Lakers. After the All-star
break the Los Angeles Lakers went twenty-eight in twelve which is a .700 winning
percentage which is well over the average to make the playoffs.
The Lakers ended up making the playoffs but did not have enough firepower to
make it to the Finals once again. Dwight ended up leaving because he did not feel
comfortable in Los Angeles and felt the Huston Rockets had a bright future. “Getting
Paul would have allowed the Lakers to seamlessly bridge the gap between the present and
the future. Most importantly, it would have paved the way to Howard signing with the
Lakers long-term” (Tony Manfred). This all comes back to the Chris Paul vetoed trade;
David Stern did back on December 9th, 2011, the beginning of the downfall.

Yacob 6
Work Cited
Eghbali, Bobby. "Kobe Bryant Isn't The Main Reason For The Lakers'
Downfall." The Sports Quotient. The Sports Quotient, 23 Oct. 2014. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
Garrison, Drew. "Kobe Bryant Didn't Cause the Lakers 'downfall'" Silver Screen
and Roll. Silver Screen And Roll, 20 Oct. 2014. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
Manfred, Tony. "How David Stern Destroyed The Lakers With The Chris Paul
Trade Veto." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 10 July 2013. Web. 03 Nov. 2014.