Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Pampered NBA Player II

Dwight Howard wants to be traded!

That's old new, sorry about that. The reason why I'm writing about it, again, is to build upon the point from my last post: The Pampered NBA Player:

In my last post I used Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol as examples of how out of touch the players are with what the NBA is all about. The NBA is a business and not some home sweet home away from home. In this post I want to bring out the idea a bit more with Dwight Howard as my example.

Dwight Howard is upset with Orlando, and wants to be traded. What surprised me was the reason he gave for wanting the trade. Let's take a look at a couple of tweets:

"Brian Schmitz: Dwight Howard is upset the Magic didn't sign some of players he wanted. Otis Smith said not at fit. Smith: "The tail can't wag the dog." Twitter

Josh Robbins: Otis Smith about Dwight's list: “We looked at some. Some we have. Some we don’t. So I’m not necessarily saying that he isn’t accurate. I think that there was a list. Some of them are duplicate talent, which is something you can’t do all the time." Twitter

So, let me get this straight. Dwight Howard is upset because the Magic didn't take his advice on some trade suggestions? Correct me if I'm wrong here, but did Dwight Howard go to college? I love the guy as a player, but I have to ask the question because he seems to think that he has the mentality to be the General Manager of the team. Again, this kid skipped college to go straight to the NBA and now, suddenly, he has the wherewithal be an NBA superstar player and General Manager, too?

Have the players of the NBA really gotten to the point, in their minds, that they actually believe that the tail can wag the dog? It's becoming clear now what the veto of the Chris Paul trade is really all about. The league, I believe, is trying to put things back in order. The players are too pampered, and think that they do run the league.

Once again, this all goes back to the LeBron James "decision." That was actually the final act of a conspiracy that brought James and Bosh to Miami to play with Wade. That's right! A conspiracy! They agreed to join forces way before the off-season came, and then played it out with the final act being the ESPN special "the decision." Come on, who's fooling who? That thing was planned way before it was announced.

Then during the season we had Carmelo Antony holding the Nuggets hostage to get a trade to New York. I mean, it's one thing to want a trade to New York, but it's another thing to get the trade and to get an extension, too. I mean, he held the Nuggets hostage and got the money, too. The tail wagging the dog!

Then we had the messy lock-out where the owners put their foot down, and made the players come down on almost every issue in the new CBA. I think it's clear that the league is sending a message to the players that things are not going to continue as they are. Awwwh, now I see the reason why commissioner Stern shot the Chris Paul trade down. Legally, with the NBA "owning" the Hornets, he has every right to shoot the deal down. Not because it wasn't a good deal, but because this is a special moment in NBA time. It was a chance to finally let the players know that they can't have their cake and eat it, too.

The players want to be traded, but they want to be traded to the teams of their choosing. And not only that, but to get the max amount of money, too. There is something wrong with this scenario, and I think the NBA, the league, is tired of it.

During the lock-out; if you went to the different Internet sports pages (blogs) you could see that the players didn't have the support of most of the fans. The owners had the fan support, the players had the support of the writers. And, if you read some of the comments on those blogs you heard everything from racial statement - to tattooed freaks - to uneducated players to describe the players.

Let's focus on the uneducated players. The fact of the matter is that most of these guys do lack an education, but somehow they - the tail - are trying to wag the dog. How has it gotten to this point? Clearly, they take their own headlines very serious. They believe everything the media says about them. They are "superstars." And that somehow equated to "power." That's OK! That's OK! But, when it gets to the point where the players are trying to dictate the terms of how the NBA operates...well, I think the league is finally saying: hold on, cowboy! Things aren't going to continue to go that way.

The problem with all that is this: the NBA system is flawed. Both Paul and Howard are using their "right" to walk out as free agents at the end of the season. The Magic and the Hornets have to do something or they'll lose those players without receiving anything in return. The teams, not willing to lose players without compensation, put them up for trade. The players use their "right" to sign an extension, or not, to determine what teams they're willing to be traded to. That's the flaw in the system, which the new CBA doesn't address. The question is this: is it possible to address the flaw in the system so that the players don't have that type of power?

The only way to address it is to punish luxury tax paying teams. The only way to punish luxury tax paying teams is to make the penalties harsher for going over the salary cap. But, the old CBA and the new CBA are full of loopholes to get past those harsh penalties. It's too late, but the only penalty that really mattered was to forbid luxury tax paying teams to sign MLE players. With that penalty on the table it would have been hard for big-market teams to fill out their rosters after stealing league superstars from small-market teams.

Anyway, the system is flawed to the point where the players just expect too much from every angle with no consideration for the overall health of the league. But, what makes matters worse is that the manipulation of the system is performed by kids who skipped college, and who think that they really can wag the dog. And they can because the system is flawed. And with a flawed system, we get the pampered players.

Commissioner Stern probably doesn't know what to do about it except to use strong armed tactics to stop the players from trying to wag the dog. The question is this: how long before the next superstar holds his current team hostage with a situation like Chris Paul? It won't take that long because the system is what it is. Will commissioner Stern resort to the same strong armed tactics as he did with Chris Paul when he was on his way to the Lakers? If he does; then instead of having the tail trying to wag the dog, we'll have the dog chasing it's own tail.

mike t.

The Pampered NBA Player

This whole situation, here in Los Angeles, is a good example of what has become of the NBA. The NBA players are seriously pampered, and I can't really point to exactly how it has happened.

The trade of Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks brings an end to his time here in Los Angeles, where he was part of 2 NBA championships. He had a great run here in Los Angeles. But, it became clear that the Lakers needed to address the problems of being swept by the Mavericks in last season's playoffs. In a move to try to improve the team, they tried to trade Odom to the Hornets, twice, in a blockbuster deal that would have brought Chris Paul to Los Angeles. What, pray tell, is wrong with that?

Nothing is wrong with that except for the fact that Odom seems to think he was being betrayed by the team, and took it so personal that he requested a trade outside of the Hornets deal. I, personally, don't really believe that Odom was so upset with the idea of being traded from the Lakers, but rather from the city of Los Angeles. Everyone knows that Lamar is all caught up into the world of reality television. And everyone knows that his wife is part of the Kardashians reality machine. The trade probably threw a wrench into his cozy Los Angeles life style. The guy got so emotional that he requested a trade just to cut off his nose to spite his face.

What are we to make of these pampered NBA players? What do players like Odom expect? Does he expect for the Lakers to hold on to him until he just can't play anymore? That he should be allowed to retire a Los Angeles Laker? Where do these thoughts come from?

Then we have Pau Gasol with these thoughts:

"David Brickley: Gasol on possibility of being traded: "This has been a reality check." Twitter

David Brickley: Gasol: "it's becoming more of a business than a sport yet Im thankful to be here with the Lakers." Twitter

A reality check? It's "becoming more of a business..." Is the man serious? When has it been any other way?

Better yet, can someone tell me when the players lost perspective on the NBA as a business and somehow came to think it was something else?

mike t.
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