Earlier today, multiple outlets were reporting on the completion a three-team NBA trade that would ship point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers while sending Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets, and Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin and ancillary pieces to the New Orleans Hornets. This deal was considered so final that Odom could be heard crying about it on the radio.
The conversation was already turning toward the next deal the Lakers would make -- perhaps shipping Andrew Bynum to Orlando for Dwight Howard -- when there was a shocking reversal issued by the league. While message board threads were already debating if Paul and Kobe Bryant were going to form the mightiest backcourt in history, NBA Commissioner David Stern vetoed the deal, something he has the power to do because the NBA took ownership of the financially foundering Hornets in 2010. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! tweeted that his sources informed him that the NBA owners -- who are all stakeholders in the Hornets -- pressured Stern to kill the agreed upon deal.
"It's not true that the owners killed the deal, the deal was never discussed at the Board of Governors meeting and the league office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons," said league spokesman Mike Bass, seemingly aware of the perception among fans and media members that the other owners had stopped this deal for their own team's interests rather than those of the Hornets.
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Fueled alternately by outrage, schadenfreude and bemusement, NBA fans made #basketballreasons the sports hashtag of the night. Need an excuse to miss work? Not pay your taxes? Deliver an illegal hit to the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns?
While fans were crowding Twitter timelines with as many tweets pushing up on that 140-character limit, Paul kept his response to the news brief, tweeting only "WoW."
Here are several of the early adopters of "basketball reasons." What's your favorite? No need to explain why, I'll presume to know your reasoning.