Gerald Herbert / Associated Press
The Lakers' deal for New Orleans guard Chris Paul was killed Dec. 8 by the NBA, which owns the Hornets franchise.
"It is not true that owners killed the deal," said NBA spokesman Tim Frank. "It wasn't even discussed at the Board [of Governors] meeting. The league office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons."
NBA commisioner David Stern later explained in a statement, "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."