Even though they had Bryant, one of the best to ever touch a basketball, they were still always looking to get better.
At one point in 2011, they were on the verge of making a monster trade that could have granted them several more championship rings.
But that trade was shot down and has remained controversial ever since.
11 years ago today, David Stern vetoed the Chris Paul to the Lakers trade.
6 days later, CP3 was traded to the Clippers for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu & a future pick (Austin Rivers) pic.twitter.com/HXnSVOKEes
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 8, 2022
December 8 is the 11th anniversary of the day that David Stern vetoed a possible deal that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers.
Just a few days later, Paul would instead make his way to the Los Angeles Clippers, which brewed a deeper rivalry between both southern California teams and changed the fate of the West for years to come.
Stern Says No
The entire situation was complicated with many moving pieces.
At the time, the NBA itself was the acting owner of the New Orleans Hornets after the previous owner George Shinn demanded to wash his hands of the team.
Therefore, Stern was both the NBA commissioner and the owner of the Hornets at the same time.
Stern said no and the deal was dead.
At the time, he said that the choice was made “on the basis of what is in the best interests of the Hornets.”
His decision didn’t sit right with many and is still spoken of to this day.
Paul’s time in LA with the Clippers was successful, although they fell short of their ultimate goals, but you can’t help but wonder what would have happened had he been a Laker instead of a Clipper.