Howard saga stinks on a lot of levels and a real Home Run Derby
As you listen to the out-of-world Dwight Howard trade scenarios (and it’s beginning to make Toronto’s four-team, double sign-and-trade epic that ended up with Turk with the Raptors seem like a simple transaction) one word keeps popping into mind:
Why would the Cleveland Cavaliers want to help the Brooklyn Nets get any better?
Take the Cavs, for instance.
At one point they were going to get – and may still get – Kris Humphries as the centerpiece of their end of the transaction. Now, I like Hump a lot and he’s become a very solid player now that he realizes what he’s with and I hope he has a long and productive and lucrative career. But doesn’t he play the same spot as Tristan Thompson, a younger, cheaper Cav piece as that team tries to re-establish itself.
And shouldn’t the Cavs, more than any team in pro sports perhaps, be averse to letting other teams create all-star casts?
Didn’t the scream bloody murder when LeBron exercised his contractual right to join another team with two other all-stars and now they’re perhaps going out of their way to let a star get his way despite him not being able to move freely on his own?
I don’t get it, I truly don’t.
The league, once again, will look ridiculous when this is all over and done with if Howard has finagled his way to the one team he wanted to go to.
It will once again send the message that petulant players – and their agents – can hold teams hostage to get whatever they want.
I’m sure there will be more venting and whining and commenting if and when this gets done but right now, the salient points are that if I was a fan of a team facilitating a deal that would seemingly make a rival far stronger, I’d be ticked.
And for those who might think this is a player – Howard – getting tired of being treated like chattel and trying to simply work where he wants, here’s the main point: He willing told his team last March that he was “all in” and would stick around this year; he made quite the fuss about that and now it’s apparent he cannot be trusted.
This is not a free agent finding a new home, I have no problem with that regardless of the team a guy wants to go, this is a guy holding a franchise hostage with his petulance.
If I’m the Magic, I find some trade with some team that isn’t New Jersey, force Howard to go there, play a season and then become a free agent so he can go wherever he wants. For the salary that’s available next summer.
This whole Howard saga has stunk since it started, I guess it’s fitting that the greatest stench will come when it’s over. And will permeate the entire NBA.
Apropos of nothing and only because a reader mentioned it and it made me smile, I think you need to put Bilko on a par with McHale, don’t you?
(And, yes, we need to some day take a poll of the greatest of the old-time sitcoms).
Got another one of the silliest e-mails we get on a regular basis yesterday:
“Wade undergoes successful surgery”
I’m waiting for the one that lands and says:
“Player X in danger of losing leg after minor surgery goes horribly awry”
“We think the doctors did a good job, as soon as the leeches get done cleaning up the wound we’ll know for sure.”
I’m honoured to work in a craft with some great writers, insightful commentators, excellent reporters and generally good women and men.
And when I read something like this – my man Marc Stein’s tremendous recap of the Steve Nash story – it reaffirms that thought a hundredfold.
This is as good as it gets for its thoroughness and insight. And I know our business; this story could only be written after years and years of getting to know players and coaches and agents.
It’s great. I told Marc that last night; you need to read it.
So, of all the contrived, made-for-TV pre-all-star events in any sport, I think I’ve got the home run derby near the bottom.
It drones on and Chris Berman has got to go and it was weird seeing a BP pitcher looking like he was pitching around Jose Bautista in the final round. The kids in outfield are kind of cute, I guess, but I half expected some brawl to break out when they were fighting over pop ups.
Now, I will admit it’s a shallow pool – the Saturday night of the NBA all-star weekend and the pucks thing are far from must-see TV – but I’d probably like to see four innings of a prospects game and some other skills competitions than three hours of batting practice.
Besides, the only true Home Run Derby has been off the air for decades.
Oh yeah, the Raptors.
A whole bunch of travelling yesterday as Bryan, the Henchmen, the coaching staff and various others headed to Vegas for the Summer League (a little training camp this week, games start later on) so it was uber-quiet on the roster front.
But now that BC’s out there with a couple of dozen other GMs, who knows what might happen. The sense on the weekend was that things were going to calm down a bit, I hope that’s the case but, as we know, things have a way of heating up rather quickly.
One thing we don’t know yet, though, is who’s on the Summer League roster. It’s a rather fluid situation as teams try to piece together workable groups and agents try to get their clients into the most enviable situations.
One thing to know, though: The only people on the Toronto roster who really matter are Ed Davis, Terrence Ross and, to a somewhat lesser degree, Quincy Acy.
The rest is flotsam and jetsam and while someone will undoubtedly score a lot of points and make their names known, this is all about seeing how Davis and Ross and Acy perform.