Byron Scott on vetoed Chris Paul-Lakers trade: “Sometimes you want to say, ‘Damn it, David Stern’”


Byron Scott was coaching the Cavaliers when New Orleans agreed to trade Chris Paul to the Lakers for Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic and a first-round pick (that became Royce White).

And Scott was coaching the Cavaliers when David Stern vetoed the trade.

But Scott, a lifelong Lakers fan who now coaches the team, reacted and is still reacting like Lakers fans everywhere.

Scott, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN:

“Yeah, sometimes you want to say, ‘Damn it, David Stern,'” Scott said before his team faced Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Friday.

“Yeah, you think about it. When they made the trade before David hexed it, I was like, ‘Wow That’s going to be fantastic.'”

At the time of the vetoed trade, Stern was both NBA commissioner and New Orleans’ acting controlling owner. Despite claiming he vetoed the trade in his capacity as owner, Stern probably couldn’t have completely separated his responsibilities.

The problem wasn’t Stern vetoing the trade, a decision justifiable – at the time, at least – on basketball terms. The problem was Stern putting himself in position where his conflict of interest was so glaring.

But Lakers fans don’t want to hear about that. They just want Chris Paul. Count Scott, who coached Paul in New Orleans, among that group.

If trade went through, maybe Scott would be coaching a better version of the Lakers right now – or maybe he wouldn’t be coaching his favorite team at all. Mike Brown could still be in the lead chair.