We’ve covered how the league feels about the Lakers and their tampering. It seems all retired players that haven’t played on the Lakers feel the same way. (looking at you Shaq)
The Porzingis trade caught everyone by surprise, but let’s not forget that Anthony Davis is still the most important player this trade deadline and it would appear he has already made up his mind – sooner or later he will be a Laker. While no-one disputes a player’s right to decide his career path (within the CBA structure), the way Davis, managed by Rich Paul, is doing it is raising a lot of eyebrows. Last night on “Inside the NBA,” Charles Barkley shared his view on this:
Adam Silver needs to block that trade. I don’t like what the Lakers are doing. I don’t think it’s right … It’s collusion, and you know it’s collusion. Rich Paul got mad at me when I said a month ago, ‘Oh, the fix is in. Anthony Davis is going to the Lakers.’ This was before all these rumors started… And he didn’t like me saying the fix was in. The fix has been in.
The collusion Chuck is speaking of it the fact that Paul is LeBron’s and AD’s agent and this decision was made long before last week. Kenny agreed with Chuck that such conflicts of interest happen in the NBA, but are virtually impossible to prevent. The league already looked into LeBron’s connection with Klutch Sports and found no violation of league rules. Remember, LeBron is the backbone of a multi-billion dollar business. Nobody said it would be fair.
As we wrote earlier, the Pelicans don’t like anything the Lakers have offered to them, so a trade is not likely to happen. Even if it did, it is not likely that Adam Silver would veto it. Through his tenure Silver didn’t need to flex his authority the way David Stern did, but it is obvious he is a proponent of “soft power,” unlike his predecessor.
Shockingly, former Laker Shaquille O’Neal said: “It’s only business.”