The NBA is all business – both literally and figuratively. Players are shipped around from team to team and sometimes viewed more as commodities than human beings. With that unchangeable fact, players have to be all business with their play on the court, and are forced to become heartless go-getters in order to keep their jobs.
A lot of the times emotions are rattled, forcing players and organizations to develop animosity towards one another. For example, Dan Gilbert’s slaying of LeBron James will add extra anticipation to the Cavs/Heat game on Dec. 2, and in David Lee’s return to the Garden he dropped 28 points and 10 rebounds. If there’s anyone that knows about getting even with a former employer, it’s Al Harrington.
After Denver’s 120-118 victory over the Knicks last night, Harrington told The New York Times, “The sweetest way to get revenge is a win.”
Looking at the schedule for the next week, there are a few players who can get even the same way Harrington did. Here are some revenge games to look forward to:
Utah vs. Portland (11/20)
Wesley Matthews was a restricted free agent over the summer. He initially planned to re-sign with the Jazz, but was offered a lot of money to take his game to Portland. While Matthews expected Utah to match it, for whatever reason it didn’t happen. On Saturday, Matthews gets a chance to show Utah what they missed out on.
New Jersey vs. Sacramento (11/19)
This game will be very interesting, as DeMarcus Cousins has openly said he is out for revenge on the teams that did not draft him. Naturally, the Nets are one of those teams. The fact that New Jersey selected another big man in Derrick Favors with their pick instead of Cousins, will add more fuel to the fire. Also, you couldn’t help but notice that Brook Lopez and Cousins had a nice little back-and-forth battle with each other the last time these two teams met.
L.A. Clippers vs. Indiana (11/18)
The Clippers and Mike Dunleavy Sr. had a bad break up last season when Dunleavy relinquished his head coaching duties to focus solely on being GM and then was fired from that. Mike Dunleavy Jr. gets a chance to avenge his father’s dismissal as he and the Pacers host the Clippers on Thursday night.
Cleveland vs. San Antonio (11/20)
In his famous letter, Gilbert promised that Cleveland would win it all before Miami will. On Saturday, Cleveland gets a chance at redemption against the team that swept them during the franchise’s only NBA Finals appearance. A win here would be a nice baby step towards validating Gilbert’s claim.
What do you think? Who will win in these revenge battles?
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