(Eds: With AP Photos.) By TIM DAHLBERG AP Sports ColumnistThe last time David Stern caused so much outrage around the NBA he was busy handing down a new dress code to keep players from looking like gangsta rappers.The similarities don’t end there. Despite his protestations otherwise, Stern’s decision to veto the first Chris Paul trade to the Los Angeles Lakers was as much about image as his decision six years ago to outlaw baggy pants and hats worn sideways.With the ink barely dry on the new pact with players, Stern really didn’t have much choice. Owners of smaller market teams didn’t go through a 149-day lockout only to find it was business as usual when business finally resumed.That they weren’t entirely happy with what they got out of the lockout was evident enough. Having their faces rubbed in it with the trade of a superstar on the first day the contract was signed would have been downright insulting.Unfortunately for Stern, the result of his veto was a comical farce that left players in limbo on three different teams. It also drew a harsh reaction from fans and members of the media, some of whom portrayed Stern as a grumpy old… Read full this story
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