Featured Gallery, NBA / Dec 7, 2011 / 11:00 am

The 3 Worst Arguments Against NBA Super Teams

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade & Chris Bosh

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade & Chris Bosh (photo. David Alvarez)

There are few groups that look better alone. Wu-Tang was the exception. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Supreme Clientele. Liquid Swords. Ironman. Tical. I could say they got lucky. History points to luck. But The Chef, Ghost, Method Man, ODB and all the rest, if you put that many unique and wild imaginations into one pot, the resulting chemistry is almost too much. Explosive. Each one of them needed their own spotlight. They all needed to branch out, explore their inner Shaolin, get down with other crews, see how far they could push their style. Word is bond.

I’ve always thought the biggest problem for the relationship between the regular common folk and professional athletes is we look at them through a fantasy prism. It’s not real life to us, as if all the money in the world helps extremely talented people to cease being human beings at all. There’s only one Dwyane Wade in the world, in the entire world (at least I think). But that doesn’t change things. There’s no wall keeping us enclosed, and them out in some far off land. They don’t hail from Moron Mountain. If a player leaves a team, fans feel betrayed. Is he not allowed to go somewhere else? Is he not allowed to live in another city if he wants to? That really sounds too simple. But to me, it is.

If you defend a superstar’s inclinations, you get criticized for wanting others to feel sorry for them. Not at all. I’m just not standing on a high enough podium to judge people. Super teams aren’t anything new, and I don’t see anything wrong with them.

What are the worst arguments I hear against them?

1) Loyalty
I know it’s a tired cliché at this point, but really, loyalty? In sports? Where players are traded on whims; where careers can last three years. Or four. Or one week. In the NFL, without the guarantees professional basketball players enjoy – contracts, more endorsement opportunities and most of all, health – it’s even worse. Get your money and get out, hopefully without a brain that ends up as mush. While not quite as drastic, the NBA still has the same ideals. Once your talent leaves, once the crowds stop showing up for you, it won’t matter. Business is business in any avenue, and there is absolutely no loyalty in multi-billion dollar industries. Loyalty will get you killed.

Did LeBron really owe Cleveland anything? He made everyone money. He made the franchise relevant. He did what he could to bring a long-suffering franchise as close to a championship as they’ve ever been. They paid him handsomely for it, but it takes the IQ of a crumb-hungry bird to realize he held up his end of the bargain. The means by which he left weren’t right. The ends can be justified rather easily.

But then again, this is opening up a whole other level of contradiction, like “Athletes are only in it for the money.” Um… yeah. So what? They get what they want. We get what we want. The game long ago morphed from some playground, I got next run to something else entirely. We don’t always want to grasp that.

2) No one back in the day did this
Partly, this is true, but more because they couldn’t. Free agency was a shell of what it is now, and with the talent pool so congested, stars could look to the next locker stall and pin a glance on another All-Star. It’s ironic there are so many people pissed off about super teams because not only does it drive the focus, pressure and spotlight through the roof (as we saw last season), it was also like this during the NBA’s heyday.

Bird never did this? Oh that’s right. He only played with Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson and Danny Ainge to name a few.

Magic never did this? The Showtime Lakers eighth men during their title runs probably could’ve started on just about any other team.

Jordan never did this? He only played with perhaps the most versatile defender of all time, probably the greatest rebounder of all time and played for the greatest coach of all time.

Those guys never did this? None of them had to.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen transcendant talents team up. Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it back in the day. 1970. They won a title in their first year together. Many of the game greatest players played with a revolving door of Hall of Famers.

Now expecting it and embracing it are two different things. You have to feel bad for the small market teams who lose out on free agents to bigger cities, or worse, watch one of their own skip town. It’s a parental experience. You watch them grow up, hit puberty, get suspended from school for the first time for doing something stupid, see how they completely struggle with some things and immediately take to others, and then eventually, you walk down the hallway and peek into their room and it’s empty. They went off and got their own place or they went to college. It all sounds a little too much like a feeder system, the minor-to-major league jump. But in reality, with this much money at stake, it pretty much is whether we want it to be or not.

3) It’s ruining the game
Considering the Lakers and Celtics have combined for over half of the NBA’s championships, it doesn’t seem like a new super team is going to change things. Parity is fleeting, and even a long lockout won’t change that.

I’ve already made my arguments about what’s ruining the game. The charge call for one. Stopping super teams isn’t on my mind. I’d rather see three All-Stars play together, and challenge what the greatest teams ever have done. Watching Amar’e, Carmelo Anthony and possibly Chris Paul isn’t quite the same as watching Elgin Baylor, Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain together. But I’d like to think it’s close.

For years, I’ve heard the NBA’s product is watered down. Too many highlights and too few fundamentals. Can’t stick a jumper but can jump 40 inches. I’ve heard the talent is spread too thin, that we’ll never get back to the good old days. If that’s the case, why is everyone complaining about this?

Do you agree with this? How do you feel about “super teams?”

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  • mytiman

    I respect LeBron’s decision to form a super team in Miami. In fact, you’re right. Bird, Magic, Jordan and even Kobe has other super stars in their team that helped them win championships. No arguments there. I just hate the fact that he had to make a program on ESPN just to announce his decision. And adding the welcoming party that Miami had for Bosh and LeBron, that just pushed the fans from loving them to hating them every time they touch the basket.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    All this article did was piss me off and make me not want to watch the NBA. So many things wrong about it and too much to type so im not going to get into it. But your arguments are ridic.

  • Alex

    Comparing Jordan playing with Pippen and Rodman to the Miami is both inaccurate and unfair. Pippen was traded for as a young up and comer by the bulls, and Rodman due to being Dennis Rodman wasn’t exactly the NBA’s premier draw. The Bulls team was built, those three didn’t sit down one day and decide to leave their current teams in the lurch to play together and win an easy one. The Celtics were before my time but i’m pretty sure that wasn’t the case for Bird either. I agree with you that loyalty isn’t a sound argument against this but i disagree with you in every other aspect. I think the super teams are taking any interest away from the regular season except in select games. I also dont agree that the charge call is ruining the game but i do think the hand check rule and the absolutely soft foul calls are. The ability of players to get into the lane is far too easy, and NBA defense is terrible to watch. It allows player with lesser skill and only pure athleticism to score droves of points by getting into the lane and getting rediculous foul calls. What do you think would happen when Derrick Rose or Lebron James made a blind drive down the lane on the 90′s Knicks? Mason would hit them and then Oakley would club them. If that happened in today’s league Stern would fine and suspend both Mason and Oakley for half the season. I’m not stuck in the past but i would like to see the competitive battles return and have the game as less of a shootout. I’d like to see players stop hugging the other team before playoff games, I’d like to see players fined for helping other players up after a hard foul in the playoffs, and I’d like to see real player and dislike fueled competitive rivalries as opposed to the petty media fueled rivalries of today. Super teams just take us farther and farther away from the great competitive spirit and play that NBA used to hold.

  • Yooo

    @mytiman he made money for children off of the decision. How could you detest this? LeBron used his platform for the greater good, what’s the problem there? I’m not even a LeBron fan and I tho KD commendable that he used his celebrity, and his life changing moment to help benefit others

  • Yooo

    @ Alex pay attention dick head. That’s the point those clubs put together teams to win, not save money. If Jordan had to play with Pooh Richardson and Chris Dudley is whole career you’re damn skip he would’ve left town on the first thing smoking. Owners, a good majority, are more concerned with the business and revenue gain than the actual product on the court which wasn’t the case 25 yrs ago

  • thrillah

    When people say it wasn’t like this back then, they meant no one went around recruiting their counterparts. Jordan was in the Olympic team with Barkley, Bird, Magic, David Robinson etc. Although they played together, you never heard they were discussing amongst themselves how they can sign with the same team to win a championship. I always thought LeBron competed with Wade since they were drafted the same year, and their games were always competitive against each other. I didn’t expect LeBron to end up playing with Wade and Bosh so that he can increase his chances of winning a championship.

  • Alex

    @Yooo easy bud, no need for name calling. And i’m aware of that, ( love the Pooh Richardson call) and of course he would have but at the same time are you trying to tell me that Dan Gilbert was more interested in revenue gain than the product of that Cavs team? How about Stan Kroenke in Denver? I agree that in some cases the owners are uncaring about the product on the court and more to the revenue but are you trying to tell me that those 80′s Celtics and 90′s Bulls teams weren’t insanely profitable? They were profitable because they were successful, not vice versa, owners aren’t stupid and are aware that with winning coming profitability. None of these stars that are ‘superteaming’ are even coming from teams that are below the luxury tax except for Paul in New Orleans i believe so don’t try to tell me that the owners caring more about their revenue is the only cause of this.

  • Alex

    @thrillah exactly my point

  • thrillah

    Pippen wasn’t a star to begin with, he grew with Jordan. By the time Rodman joined the Bulls, they had already won 3 championships. So needless to say, Jordan didn’t need to recruit to top talents around the league to get his rings.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    I am totally ready to go into an serious argument with those on the ‘pro’ side of this argument. I’m totally against it.

    How will this trend NOT ruin the NBA?
    It’s true, superteams existed. However, those rosters were assembled by the front office. I have an issue when players start maneouvring to play with 2 or 3 of their all-star friends.
    Superteams have existed in other sports too… however, again, they were assembled by the front office. Can you imagine what this would do to football? If Peyton Manning called Jones-Drew, Chad Johnson, a bunch of his favorite O-Lineman and got Ray Lewis to call his defensive buddies to create a team? Then Cam Newton said, “Fuck this, I’m doing this too. Yo, Tebow… Are you interested in the idea of forming a 2-headed QB-RB combo in the backfield with me? I’ll call Forte… you call Chad Johnson.”
    ^ And people are seriously okay with that??

  • Will

    @Yoo, I’m guessing you’re one of those blind LeBron James fans that believes everything he does is great, and how dare we judge his decisions. I’ve delt with your kind before and I’m gonna make this as simple as possible, even though I know you will probably not understand and just call me a dick head. Now the teams in the super teams in the 90s and 80s were not a product of free agency or the buddy-buddy system. They were either drafted or traded at some point, and they did not demand the trade either. So comparing the 3 eras is pointless cause they aren’t similar. Most of these guys were in their 30s when they went to powerhouse teams, not 26.

  • derek

    @ jay

    i dont see problem. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of players having so much power. This is their job. If you dont like your work environment you seek another place, then leave when you find one. That’s all they did.

    Yea i feel sorry for the small market teams, but hopefully this gives them incentive to make wise decisions in regards to draft picks and contract signings. There are crappy teams in every single team sport, some people gotta win and some people gotta lose. That’s just how it is. dallas, OKC, spurs, chicago, Atlanta, boston, golden state, all have multiple starts if not superstars, te only diff is players vs front office making the moves

  • UncheckedAggression

    I’m a hardcore Kings fan and I accept that this is the way it is. There have always been stacked teams. Just because they get formed out of free agency, you guys wanna bitch about it?

    I’m a supporter of free agency, so I am ok with this. I don’t see a better way, so I take it as it is. Everything is not going to be perfect.

  • JBaller

    Let gms put the best teams together that they can and let ballers ball. The problem is that players are holding teams hostage to get what they want, but thats not their job. Too bad the new cba didnt address this head on.

    Loyalty is something that fans value, so if a player values fans they must decide what to do. I agree that players dont have to be loyal, but they will pay the price.

  • Bass

    Those teams you named in the article were constructed by GM’s and front offices. Not groups of friends deciding they want to go chase championships the easy way. Let’s be real.

  • cesar

    agree with JBaller….

    and that #2 argument is shit as hell

  • mitch

    if we are comparing this to the 80s then this would be like magic going to boston (or bird going to the lakers). or jordan leaving the bulls to play with hakeem. yes ‘super teams’ did exists but the top 10 players of that era did not go and join forces to win in their primes.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    lmao@ some of these post.

    Jordan played on super teams? hahahaaha. Pippen wasn’t even an All-star until 1992!!!! Jordan came to the Bulls 1984-85 and had Sam Vincent as a backcourt mate. Orlando Wollridge, Dave Corzine. Bums! for Years. Even in 86′ when Pip and Ho Grant got drafted, they came in as bums! Pippen wasn’t a factor until 1990. by 91′ he was one of the top defenders (guarding Jordan for four years probably had something to do with that), and by 92 was an all-star. Ho Grant was far from a star player. Any all-star teams he made was because of MJ or Pip.

    Also, Rodman grabbed 15reb per game and played great defense. He wasn’t even an all-star in his time with Chicago!!!!! Come on man, yall n!ggas are better than this.
    Loook at the rest of Jordans teammates and what they did when they did not play with MJ or Pip. They were all bums. Even my mans Tony Kukoc fell the fluck off when he left Chicago.
    Please don’t ever put Jordan’s 6 championship teams in the same discussion as Magic and Birds chips. Magic and Bird played with tons of all-stars. Guys who made MULTIPLE all-star games. Bos and LA constantly had 3-4 players in every all-star game during the 80′s. Even the Detroit Pistons had a loaded team with Aguire, Zeke, Dumars, Rodman, Lambeer.
    Also I will agree with Sweeny on this
    They may not have signed them as free agents but they did STEAL them in trades. Sweeny didn’t make that argument exactly but i will. Bos stole Chief and #3 pick Kevin McHale in trades. I have no idea how they got DJ and Ainge. The Lakers stole #2 pick James Worthy, Sam Perkins, and Bob Macadoo. I also don’t know how they ended up with AC Green and Byron Scott. Fluck, how did Philly get #5 pick Barkley while Doc, Moses, and Mo Cheeks were still on the team.

    The one thing i don’t agree with as far as most posters is we NEED super teams. Back in the 80′s the C’s and LA, and Det were the villions. They had good to great players at every position and it was frustrating as hell for opposing teams. But it created an amazing excitement when those teams traveled to play vs your hometown team. And when the C’s, Pistons, Sixers, and Lakers squared off vs eachother it was basketball bliss. I don’t really care for too much parity. Just give me good exciting basketball (that is not manipulated by the refs)

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    Exactly Chi… exactly.

    MJ’s first 3-peat was not filled with all-stars. It was was with players who complimented eachother. Pippen barely had a reliable jumpshot. BJ Armstrong was their starting point guard. Horace Grant was simply a reliable starter. Cartright had the free-throw shot that everyone tried to copy on the playground.
    The Pistons, both the Bad Boy era and the early 2000s team, were not filled with stars. Olajuwon’s Rockets were the same thing. And guess what? They all won rings vs more talent. A sum of all parts coming together to win a championship. Now these players are trying to BULLY the lesser teams. It’s BS…. IMO.

    When GM’s build teams, most of the time, they try to acquire players who they think compliment eachother. So it usually results in better basketball. When these players build teams, we get guys who want to play with friends. That’s it. If this starts happening in the NFL (and i’m pretty sure it will because these NBA players are homies with NFL players too), then everyone here will start to get a bit annoyed with it.

  • anonymous

    Regardless of how many all stars you have on your team, they still have to go out and play. Dallas proved this by beating Miami in the finals. If we have a couple superteams so be it, GM’s on weaker teams just have to step their game up and build smart. OKC is a good example. Straight up drafting and trades. A team usually needs 2 stars to win anyway, Kobe/Shaq, Jordan/Pippen; Magic/Kareem, Isiah/Dumars, Duncan/Robinson etc.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    THE 3 WORST ARGUMENTS [FOR] NBA SUPER TEAMS
    By JAY

    1) “This is their job. If you dont like your work environment you seek another place, then leave when you find one. That’s all they did.”
    ^ Brought to you directly by derek.

    There are many things wrong with this argument. First, most people don’t have contracts at work, so right away that’s different. If you don’t like it and you work a 9-5, you leave.
    Second, NBA players, in essence, are contract workers with a contract to fulfill so they cannot just pickup their stuff and leave. In the real world contract employees must fulfill the length of the contract. A contract worker cannot just go up to their boss with a couple months left on their contract and say, “Hey boss, this position isn’t for me and I can be more productive somewhere else. Can you move me to Tom’s unit? He’s my friend.”
    ^ Good luck with that. Guess what will happen… they will let that contract run out, you’ll be out of a job, and you’ll have to seek out another position.
    Thirdly, you just can’t compare the NBA positions to a regular job. Why?? Because it isn’t a fuckin regular job!

    2) ” If Jordan had to play with Pooh Richardson and Chris Dudley is whole career you’re damn skip he would’ve left town on the first thing smoking.” – brought to you by Yooo.

    We’ve heard this before… and it’s ridiculous.
    MJ had something that these players today don’t… the desire to BE THE BEST. The desire to BE THE MAN. Don’t assume because these suckas today are doing it MJ would have also. The older players’ mantra USED to be, “You gotta beat the man, to be the man.” Today’s players mantra is “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” MJ went through a LOT of downs (figuratively and literally) before beating the Bad Boys. He even re-signed with the Bulls, no questions asked, after being eliminated by the Pistons he was getting beat up by the Pistons. He wanted to beat the Pistons with his own team. He had to much pride. Why else would he want to stay? He is a winner. He wanted to win. It would have been easier to jump ship. Right??
    Y’all better drop that silly assumption. The “if jordan had the opportunity he would have done it too” argument is stupid. He DID have the opportunity, and the case was VERY similar to when Lebron left Cleveland… but MJ didn’t leave.

    3)”This will help the league regain interest and the NBA can make so much money” – from an argument I had at lunch w/ a co-worker
    ^ This one is easy to respond to. Yes, David Stern can make a ton of money. And the global interest will soar… but there will be more teams losing money. There can only be a handful of super teams. The other teams will suffer.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    @Jay

    That whole “MJ would’ve done it” shit drives me nuts too.
    You mean the same guy who left basketball because it wasn’t challenging enough!!! lol. Then went a played Baseball just to see if he can do it! Then CAME BACK….TWICE…just to see if he can do it.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    1. Maybe if the Raptors had “manuevered” to get some better players around Chris Bosh, he wouldn’t have felt the need to “manuever” his way onto the Heat.

    2. Would Jordan/Magic/Bird have done the same thing given the chance? Yes, I think so. I don’t know why people keep ignoring the fact that Jordan, Magic and Bird never had to go anywhere to find a great team because they had great teams built around them.

    Magic and Bird won championships pretty much right off the bat while playing with Hall of Fame teammates and being led by Hall of Fame coaches and management. Did Jordan have to endure some tough years waiting for Pippen to become an All-Star and for Phil to become a great coach? Sure. Just the same way D-Wade had to endure some tough years. But what people also forget is that Jordan was under contract most of those years. We don’t know what he would have done as a free agent.

    Also, remember that Jordan was already playing in a major media market in Chicago. If he was losing AND a free agent AND playing in Cleveland or Toronto, Jordan would have bounced and signed with a better team.

    3. The “if you can’t beat them join them” criticism of LeBron would make sense … except Miami and Toronto were never competition for him. Maybe if LeBron had signed with Boston or San Antonio, I’d understand where those people are coming from.

    4. I need someone to explain to me exactly what is more honorable about a front office bringing players together versus players bringing each other together. Don’t just say, “It’s different because the GM put the Bulls together.” Tell me WHY it’s BETTER than the GM put the Bulls together.

    5. Then tell me how NBA players deciding to play together is ANY different than high school players deciding where to attend college together. And why does no one have a problem with NCAA “super-teams”? I haven’t heard one complaint about Kentucky or UNC “stacking the deck.” In fact, all I hear is excitement to see those teams play each other.

  • http://brokejumper.com/ Brokejumper

    Until they prove themselves and win a championship there shouldn’t be any argument. 2.5 great players on a team doesn’t make it a super team.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    @AB: “But what people also forget is that Jordan was under contract most of those years. We don’t know what he would have done as a free agent.”
    Not exactly, AB. He could have became a free-agent after being eliminated by the Bad Boys one year(not sure if it was the first or second time). His contract HAD expired, but he re-signed in the offseason. He chose to get that taken care of. He chose to stay. He chose to try and win the win with his own team. He extended for 8 years, for 25Mill or so(If my memory serves me right.) So he commmited to his team for the long term.

    “Also, remember that Jordan was already playing in a major media market in Chicago. If he was losing AND a free agent AND playing in Cleveland or Toronto, Jordan would have bounced and signed with a better team.”
    You’re telling us Chicago was already a major market when he arrived there?? That’s news to me. He made Chicago the major market it is today.
    In the same breathe, LBJ made Cleveland a major player. He could have went to Milwuakee and turned that franchise into a major market.
    The “if you can’t beat em join em” statement I made wasn’t literal. What I really meant was, “if you can’t win, get together with your friends.”

    “I need someone to explain to me exactly what is more honorable about a front office bringing players together versus players bringing each other together. ”
    One word. Collusion.
    When front offices build a roster, and when trades are initiated and made by the GM, that’s all done behind closed doors. What if a GM 6 years ago went to the media a month before the season and said, “It’s been a pleasure but I need to get rid of Tracy McGrady. He’s taking up a lot of cap and he isn’t the player to lead us to the promise land. I want to move him back to Toronto, or Minnesota. I only want to move him to those teams. Sorry other teams, but that’s my choice.”
    ^What’s the difference between that and the players?

    “And why does no one have a problem with NCAA “super-teams”? I haven’t heard one complaint about Kentucky or UNC “stacking the deck.”"
    Because that’s college. They’re choosing a school to play at. A school to develop at. They’re kids. They also have the opportunity to choose their AAU team. And even when they are younger, they can choose which basketball clinics they want to go to, or not. Also, they can choose their dentists. And choose the store at which they buy their clothes. So what? When you go to the pros, it’s the pros. Isn’t it supposed to be an honor just to be able to play there… period? Their aura of entitlement is out of hand. Asking for trades to a specific team is ridiculous, IMO.

    Question for you AB.
    You brought up college… the vast majority of the American players had the choice of schools. By your statements I’m assuming you wouldn’t mind if, every single offseason, there was 100-150 players asking to be moved to a team and they all had a “shortlist”? They all had the choice of college in their teens, right? So then they ALL should have the choice in the NBA and it should be all good… F that.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @JAY –You’re asking me if I’m OK with 100-150 NBA players each summer having a choice of where they play? If their contracts have expired, then yes, I am. It’s called free agency. What you seemed to forget is that none of Miami’s Big 3 broke their contracts.

    What you also seemed to forget is that talent buys options. I’m sure every NBA player, free agent or not, has a short list of teams they’d WANT to play for. Just like everybody working a “regular” job has a short list of companies they’d want to work for. The difference is, those teams/companies have to want you. I’m sure Brandon Rush has a list of teams he’d want to play for,
    but he can only play for the teams that want him. LeBrin, Wade and Bosh are different because EVERYBODY wanted them. (Except Toronto, apparently.) They had options.

    Same goes for college. The players who are good enough to have their pick of schools can decide to play together because, in essence, their HS “contract” has expired. And all college is, is a 4-year deal with a player-option every year.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    I’m done with Miami… I’m talking about Melo, and CP3.
    I’m talking about 100-150 players who have current contracts with teams and they go public about trading them to 1 team. Not “I want to play for a winning franchise”…. these guys are asking for one team.

    “Just like everybody working a “regular” job has a short list of companies they’d want to work for. The difference is, those teams/companies have to want you.”
    Who cares if a player isn’t as “wanted” as CP3. If 150 mediocre players went straight to the media and told them, “I want to be traded. It’s been fun, but I’d like to play for Team X.”
    Star or not… it’s retarded. Does it really matter whether or not it’s CP3 or Chase Budinger?? They all want to win right? They all want to be play with contenders, right? The only difference is CP3′s request would be taken more seriously than Budinger’s. But the public request itself is retarded. Imagine 150 player doing that every single year.

    Would you be cool with the GMs saying what I posted in #25?? I’ll repost it here again…
    “It’s been a pleasure but I need to get rid of Tracy McGrady. He’s taking up a lot of cap and he isn’t the player to lead us to the promise land. I want to move him back to Toronto, or Minnesota. I only want to move him to those teams. Sorry other teams, but that’s my choice.”
    ^ That’s okay for a GM, a professional person, to present that to the media?

    “Same goes for college. The players who are good enough to have their pick of schools can decide to play together because, in essence, their HS “contract” has expired. And all college is, is a 4-year deal with a player-option every year.”
    Good point. Except there’s no punishment in the NBA for players who demand trades. They should make it so that players who ‘transfer’ teams, like student-athletes who transfer schools, should be red-shirted for a year. They should miss an entire season before being eligible to play for their new team. I think that would be fair.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Technically there is a punishment for demanding a trade. I can’t remember who it was now, but somebody was fined within the last couple years for publicly asking for a trade. But I think the loophole is that so long as the player never actually says anything and leaves it up to “sources” and the rumor mill, he’s protected.

    That said, the only reason teams are “forced” to trade players is because they allow themselves to be forced. Somebody needs to step up and set a precedent without being scared of losing money. The next time a superstar says he wants to be traded, suspend him without pay. Teams can do that, right? Or keep paying him, but bench him. If that happens enough times, players will stop thinking they can force management’s hand.

    Media and fans have to accept some responbility here, too. We’re the ones who look out into the future, see that Dwight Howard’s contract is running out in 2012, so in 2010 we start asking him “Are you re-signing? Are you staying here? Do you want to retire in Orlando? How do you feel about L.A.? Are you going? Are you staying?” It’s natural on a business level that a player isn’t going to committ to anything two years before it’s necessary, so when Dwight doesn’t say, “Oh yeah I’m definitely not going anywhere,” we use that to start the “Dwight might be leaving” and “Orlando should trade him and get something back” story lines.

    Now in this whole super-team debate, I’m not talking about guys who are under contract. I’m talking about free agents and the collusion factor, which I don’t think is wrong at all.

    Let’s say that in 2008, Chris Bosh decided that he’d be leaving Toronto in 2010. Let’s say he agreed with LeBron and Wade that they would all play together in either Miami, New York or Chicago, whichever team had the most money to spare. And let’s say you, as a Raptors fan, didn’t discover this until after he’d signed with Miami. Looking back on the time between ’08 and 2010, would you say that you were pleased with Bosh’s performance for your team? Do you think he in any way wasn’t giving his best for the Raptors? Do you think he wasn’t trying to win? If Bosh still fulfilled his contract to the team and played at a high level, what exactly would be the problem if he’d already decided he wanted to play somewhere else when his contract was up?

    As for your T-Mac example, teams plan ahead like that ALL THE TIME. You don’t think the Knicks were devising scenarios to get rid of Eddy Curry while he was still under contract?

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    “The next time a superstar says he wants to be traded, suspend him without pay. Teams can do that, right? Or keep paying him, but bench him. If that happens enough times, players will stop thinking they can force management’s hand.”
    ^ Agreed. Someone has got to put their foot down.

    “I’m not talking about guys who are under contract. I’m talking about free agents and the collusion factor, which I don’t think is wrong at all.”
    ^ Personally, I’m over the Heat’s infamous offseason. I don’t care about that anymore. I’m upset by these contract guys…

    “As for your T-Mac example, teams plan ahead like that ALL THE TIME. You don’t think the Knicks were devising scenarios to get rid of Eddy Curry while he was still under contract?”
    ^ Eddy Curry’s situation is a bit off base from what we’re talking about here. He robbed the Knicks. He basically stole money from them. He wasted their time. He played very well, then once he got his contract he stopped playing. His situation is like if the Raptors told Bargnani that he was going to be “the man” after Bosh left…. they tell him that they will get players to compliment his game. Then once he’s signed, they benched his ass for 5 years.