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NBA / Feb 21, 2014 / 4:00 pm

Why You Should Stop Bitching About The Slow NBA Trade Deadline

Danny Granger

Danny Granger (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

The NBA’s trade deadline expired yesterday at 3:30 p.m. ET, and with it came one last deal, Indiana’s exchange of long-time wing Danny Granger for Philadelphia’s Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. A resoundiing, metaphorical “HUZZAH” emanated from the denizens of NBA Twitter, with many believing the last-minute deal had somehow saved the trade deadline. Why does the trade deadline need saving, and when did we, as fans, collectively agree it was cool to commodify human beings simply to participate in the cutthroat game of pretend NBA GM?

Inspiring sympathy for millionaires who get to play a kid’s game is a tall order I’m not even going to attempt, but I will try and empathize with those guys who got traded, or who thought they may have been.

The Clippers plane yesterday sounds as if it was like a team fart, with rumor and innuendo wafting through the air like they all gobbled a ton of fast food and diuretics before climbing aboard. Eventually they found out two current players, Byron Mullens and Antawn Jamison, wouldn’t be making the flight. Here’s Matt Barnes — who was involved in a multitude of rumors, mostly surrounding Knicks wing Iman Shumpert — on the atmosphere:

“The plane was a sweatbox today. It’s just a business and it’s tough. We sat on that plane for almost two hours looking around in silence, looking at Twitter.

“No one was really talking. We were looking around and the captain said [the delay was caused by] bad weather and we’re like, ‘Yeah, bulls—, we’re waiting for that trade deadline.’ I’m just glad it’s over.”

During the night before the deadline was set to expire, vigilant fans and faux-GM’s yukked it up on Twitter as Steve Blake was busy trying to figure out how he was going to see his family after getting traded to Oakland. Blake — like all of us, except those principles involved in the deal — heard late Wednesday night the former Maryland *product* (see what I did there?) had been traded to Golden State. But then reality set in and Blake realized he probably wouldn’t get to see much (or any) of his family for the remainder of the season. He’ll be traveling around with the Dubs to finish out the year while his family remains entrenched in Los Angeles.

Holly MacKenzie recently spoke with a few players who have been traded mid-season, and they relayed how disorienting it can be to have to pick up and move all your stuff while in the middle of the season. Players who get dealt at the deadline don’t have time to go home and make all the necessary arrangements a large scale move entails. In a lot of cases guys have no idea they’re about to get dealt and have set down real roots in their soon-to-be former city.

But fans don’t care because NBA players have become Monopoly pieces in the game of amateur NBA GM.

Keep reading to see how the business of basketball’s usurpation of the games themselves becomes most evident at the deadline…

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  • 2cents

    Another interesting article Spencer. I like how you looked at it from the NBA player’s view. I agree it’s something the fan often forgets. But honestly, the players always talk about how “it’s just business”. If a player really was set on playing long term for a team, maybe they chose to take LESS and get some sort of NTA in their contract?

  • spencer

    I meant to include that pervasive phrase, “it’s just a business,” b/c you’re right, they say it all the time. And they understand better than the fans that they could get dealt. The piece was a byproduct of Twitter comments as guys were getting tossed aside like pieces on a chess board. It’s fine if GM’s do this — they sort of have too — but when fans do it, it always makes me uncomfortable.

  • 2cents

    Keep the good articles coming Spencer and thanx for making the rest of us think.