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Top 10 NBA Franchise Saviors

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Among the pillars of the agreement that ended the NBA's five-month lockout in December were provisions to promote competitive balance and to end the practice of large-market teams pirating stars from smaller-market clubs. Those principles were tested immediately when, on the very day the contract was to be ratified, irate owners badgered Commissioner David Stern to void the proposed trade of Chris Paul from the league-owned Hornets to the powerful Lakers.

Though Stern's bizarre decision - citing "basketball reasons" - to strike down the deal caused an uproar, we just saw evidence for Stern's edict: Can you imagine Paul in the same backcourt with Kobe Bryant? That sure isn't competitive balance.

Paul instead was shipped to the Lakers' co-tenant at Staples Center. ...

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