One of the nicer things about law is the way it appeals and applies to my particular interests, which include almost everything. I love learning, and I read and research and explore constantly: the internet is both the best and the worst thing that could have ever possibly happened to me, as it allows me to indulge, and, well, allows me to indulge.
Law serves much the same purpose, as there is pretty much nothing under the sun that it doesn’t touch or at least opine on in some way. That means that there is always something to learn, and, furthermore, something to ponder over and agree or disagree with. Take what happened today. The NBA lockout finally ended, and as such, teams began constructing and modifying their rosters for the upcoming season with wild abandon, making up for lost time.
The Lakers made perhaps the biggest move of all: swinging a trade for Chris Paul. Paul and Dwight Howard joining forces with Kobe on the team had been a wild rumor for some time, and to see the first stage of it actually happen was rather stunning. The team gave up a lot to get a premier point guard in two All-Star players who had helped the Lakers win two championships: Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. Odom, in particular, loved LA, and apparently wept when he heard the news. It was a major, major shift, and Laker-haters across the country were furious.
They would be appeased, however, when the trade was vetoed. You see, the league currently owns the New Orleans Hornets (the team Chris Paul plays for) due to financial difficulties, and the other team owners, who have a moneyed interest in New Orleans and a vested interest in the viability of their own products, didn’t want to see the league’s premier franchise and one of several dominant teams get better. So they pressured David Stern, the NBA’s commissioner, into vetoing the trade. In my mind, this sets a dangerous precedent. One may argue that the impact is limited, as it is rare that the league will take direct control of a team like the Hornets again, but what it represents for fair dealings and truly competitive balance and team autonomy is worrying.
It used to be that I’d just be furious in my own little way, and eventually move on. But now, I have an entirely new means of looking at an event like this. How does the law apply to this situation? What are the legal remedies to Chris Paul and the Lakers? Would this fall under anti-trust (due to the joint ownership of the team) or straight employment, or what? I have no idea, but it’s something else to learn about. It gets me excited to discover more.