With the heat turning up on the commissioner's controversial decision to squash a three-team trade that would have sent superstar New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets and Lamar Odom to the Hornets, David Stern on Friday released the following statement:
Since the NBA purchased the New Orleans Hornets, final responsibility for significant management decisions lies with the Commissioner's Office in consultation with team chairman Jac Sperling. All decisions are made on the basis of what is in the best interests of the Hornets. In the case of the trade proposal that was made to the Hornets for Chris Paul, we decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade.
Earlier in the day, Mavs owner Mark Cuban defended the league's stance on the "Ben and Skin Show" on 103.3 FM ESPN.