Following the controversy over David Stern blocking soon-to-be free agent Chris Paul’s move to the Los Angeles Lakers, the former New Orleans guard was officially traded to the Clippers.
The Los Angeles Clippers acquired Paul on Wednesday night, in a three-player deal with the New Orleans Hornets. The Clippers gave up guard Eric Gordon, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and center Chris Kaman along with a first-round draft pick.
After the news was announced, industry insiders had mixed reactions.
Blake Griffin, Clippers’ forward, expressed excitement after hearing the news.
“Yeah, it’s going to be lob city,” Griffin told Fox Sports West.
Former Los Angeles Laker, Magic Johnson reacted to the news after welcoming Paul to the city on Twitter.
“The Clippers are a serious contender to win the west with @cp3,” Johnson tweeted. “Donald Sterling is doing everything he can to try to win the first championship for the Clippers.”
Shaquille O’Neal, former Laker, told the Los Angeles Times that he is excited to watch Paul’s new team this season.
“The Clippers are going to be nice. They've got Chris Paul, Caron Butler, my man Blake Griffin,” O’Neal said. “They've got the potential to do some damage in the playoffs, especially with the shortened 66-game season. I can't wait to watch them play.”
However, the popular guard in the city’s more successful franchise did not seem to mind the competition.
“It’s good so see them being that aggressive and wanting to make the next step,” Bryant said in a Los Angeles Times report. “They got Blake, who I think the world of ... and CP, who I like as well, so I think it’s good for L.A. to have two teams that are competitive.”
Although Bryant did not seem devastated about the trade, many were expecting Paul to join his team after a trade was proposed to the Hornets by the Lakers. However, Stern, league commissioner, sparked controversy after refusing to let the deal go through.
Stern has recently explained his actions, as the person in charge of making decisions for the Hornets – a team owned by the NBA.
“I knew we were doing the best thing for New Orleans and that was my job,” Stern said in a statement. “You have to stick with what you think was right. I must confess it wasn’t a lot of fun, but I don’t get paid to have fun.”
Stern said he was satisfied with the new Paul trade, which gave the Hornets a better chance to thrive.
"It is our belief that the proposed transaction tonight is better than the transaction that I did not sign off on," Stern said on a conference call with reporters. "It is our responsibility to make (the Hornets) as attractive and competitive as we can and make sure we have an owner that will keep them in New Orleans."
Paul took to his Twitter to thank the city where he began his professional career.
“Thank you New Orleans for six of the best years of my life, to the organization, my teammates, coaches and the fans you will always be my family and have a special place in my heart,” Paul tweeted.