I've long been a proponent of the NBA developing a salary cap so small-market teams such as Charlotte would have an opportunity to compete.
But NBA commissioner David Stern's decision to veto a trade that would ship Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers will haunt Stern and as well as the credibility of his league.
The NBA owns the Hornets; it has since George Shinn sold them. And I can see why Stern is frustrated about elite players forcing their teams to trade them to markets such as Miami and New York.
But Paul, the N.C. native and former Wake Forest star, will be a free-agent after the season. If he sticks with the Hornets until then, he'll be free to walk.
Yes, when a team acquires several decent player for one exceptional one, it loses. Yet, as these deals go, this one isn't bad.
The Hornets would add Luis Scola, a tough inside player; Kevin Martin, the former Western Carolina star with range and quickness; Goran Dragic, a servicable point and shooting guard; and Lamar Odom, who once was good and is married to somebody famous.
On what grounds does Stern veto the trade? I assume there was pressure from small-market owners who tire of watching home-grown players force their way out.
But that's how the system works. The system can work that way in other sports, too. Ask Albert Pujols. Ask Julius Peppers. No veto there.
I don't see how Stern, a lawyer by trade, can make the unfortunate move hold up.
Players around the league reported to practice Friday for the first time. What should have been an interesting welcome back has become a disaster.