When I read that NBA Commissioner David Stern had nullified a three team trade between the New Orleans Hornets, the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers that would have sent Chris Paul from the Hornets to the Lakers while the Lakers would have sent Lamar Odom to the Hornets and Pau Gasol to the Rockets, respectively, “for basketball reasons”, the first thing that came to mind was the late Bowie Kuhn, who served as MLB Commissioner from 1969 to 1984.
During the 1976 season, in one fell swoop, Oakland A’s owner Charlie Finley traded closer Rollie Fingers and outfielder Joe Rudi to the Boston Red Sox and then dealt pitcher Vida Blue to the New York Yankees only to have Kuhn block both deals because they were “not in the best interests of baseball.” Kuhn did the same thing the following year after Finley tried to deal Blue to the Cincinnati Reds. Bowie Kuhn was also the first thing to come to mind for sports blogger Berry Tramel after Stern gave his stern veto.
It would have been interesting if the trade had been nullified after Paul had suited up. Here’s a photo of Fingers shaking hands with Rico Petrocelli while wearing a Red Sox uniform.