David Stern wouldn’t allow Chris Paul to go work for the Lakers for the 2011-12 season, the proposed trade rejected by the commissioner because it was perceived to be a “steal” for Los Angeles.

Instead, as you know, the New Orleans Hornets sent the point guard to the Clippers. That was OK’d by the league czar.

Paul had the same home arena, Staples Center, but a different cast of teammates and a franchise with a history of failure and an unbelievable amount of instability in the past few decades. The Lakers have built dynasty after dynasty, decade after decade, starting in the franchise’s Minneapolis days…

Now what makes the Lakers’ pursuit of Paul and the Clippers’ pursuit of head coach Doc Rivers an interesting comparison is the fact that the commissioner has a say in the decision. (According to the collective bargaining agreement, coaches are not permitted to be traded for players.)

But should the Clippers be able to trade a draft pick(s) to the Celtics to land Rivers? Should Stern demand that the Celtics sever ties with Rivers as step one, followed by a normal hiring process in which a proposed player trade has nothing to do with the possibility of Rivers leaving Boston to go work in L.A.?

Interesting that the Lakers and Celtics, the league’s most successful teams, both find themselves at opposite ends of the trade spectrum in back-to-back seasons.