David Stern criticized the Pelicans general manager when discussing a possible Chris Paul trade in 2011 to Sports Illustrated.

By Jenna West
October 24, 2018

The New Orleans Pelicans issued a statement defending general manager Dell Demps after former NBA commissioner David Stern criticized him in a Sports Illustrated story.

Stern, who served as commissioner from 1984-2006, called Demps a "lousy general manager" when discussing his veto of a trade that could have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011. 

After Stern vetoed the Lakers deal, he worked with Demps to facilitate Paul's eventual trade to the Clippers.

"[Demps] had agreed to [trade Paul to the Lakers for] Kevin Martin and Luis Scola or something, and I said we can do better than that," Stern told Sports Illustrated. "And the next trade was [to the Clippers for] Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu and what we thought was a really great draft pick, the 10th pick, which turned out to be Austin Rivers. At least those three and someone else [center Chris Kaman]. But Dell Demps is a lousy general manager and none of those players are currently with the team anymore, and he may lose Anthony Davis."

After the story's publication, the Pelicans released a statement in response to Stern's comments.

"We are very disappointed to read the inappropriate and inaccurate comments from the former NBA Commissioner regarding the New Orleans Pelicans," the statement said. "Our organization has the utmost confidence in our General Manager, Dell Demps."

The Pelicans' next game is against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday in New Orleans. Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.

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