Ok, you know there was no way I could not write a post today after what’s transpired over the past few hours.
Firstly, the only thing I have to say about Albert Pujols leaving the Cardinals for the Angels is that it’s the worst thing that could have happened. Why’d you go to an AL West team, Al? WHY?! Even though you’ve been my favorite baseball player for a while now, you leave me no choice. It is my duty. I must hate you.
And that’s all there is to say about that.
Now — Chris Paul.
Please note that I’m writing this at 3:00 in the morning so my train of thought may be wonky. In fact, the following will probably just be a conglomeration of the bunch of scattered, non-linear thoughts that ran through my head when I heard the news, as well as additional commentary regarding the reasons why I’ve stopped caring about the NBA.
Otherwise, read on to see what writing at 3:00 in the morning looks like.
So clearly, the lockout was completely pointless. I thought a big reason for it was to help restore competitive balance in the league. The new free agency rules were supposed to compel upcoming free agent superstars to stay with their (usually) small-market team, and the very first day the new CBA is ratified, Chris Paul forces (the NBA-owned) New Orleans Hornets’ hand, says peace-out and joins Kobe Bryant in sunny LA. Seriously, does anyone (besides Laker fans) not see how fucked up this is?
The league has slowly been decimated over the past few years (part of the reason why I grew to become disinterested). Currently, only about 4-5 teams out of 30 have a legit chance at winning a championship. What’s the point in watching games played amongst the other 25 teams in the league when they have absolutely no chance of going anywhere? As a Warrior fan, I know this feeling all too well. So let’s be honest Warrior fans, the team, while exciting to watch, aren’t going to even sniff the playoffs the season. The biggest tease came this week to gullible fans who had bought into the idea that the Warriors actually had an enticing package to lure Chris Paul to the team. Hell, even the basketball guy himself, Bill Simmons, was convinced the Warriors had the CP3 sweepstakes won. I knew better.
How can fans of small-market teams even enjoy watching games when their team has absolutely no chance from day 1? How is that exciting? Please tell me because I don’t see it.
This is why I was highly disappointed when I read the terms of the new CBA did not include a hard cap. A hard cap will solve A LOT of these problems, at the very least, restore some semblance of a competitive balance in the league…
I also still believe removing some teams and contracting the league will help, too. Less teams, less crap talent will result in more quality teams with better talent…
Damn it, LeBron. This is all your fault. Didn’t you know that stunt you pulled would induce a snowball effect?…
And then the NBA decides to block the trade. And to that, I say, good for them. It’s about time they put their foot down. Some people will argue that it was an even trade for all three sides involved, and to that, I say those people are grade-A idiots (I’m looking at you, Chris Broussard). An even trade makes all sides better. The Hornets were getting a bunch of throwaway players, the Rockets get one guy, and the Lakers create the best backcourt in the league, all the while saving money, saving Bynum, and having enough trade chips available to sign Dwight Howard too, if they so chose. That’s fair? Alright, sure.
But therein lies the problem: small-market teams couldn’t even comprehend having those kinds of options available for them. The Lakers traded for the best point guard in the league, and they still have the opportunity to get the best center in the game? That’s ludicrous…
And now Chris Paul wants to sue? I don’t — I can’t even…there are no words. I wish the lockout was still going on.
I have more thoughts about this, and I’ll probably include an addendum to this post. But I’m getting sleepy and starting to forget that I actually don’t care about the NBA.
Whatever the case, fuck the NBA. I can’t believe they’ve kept me up this late to say how much I hate them. Oh and fuck LA, too. Bastards.
Addendum (3:20 PM):
I realized that writing a post at 3:00 AM in the morning, when I had downed about 5 glasses of red wine only a couple hours prior, was probably a bad idea. I included the disclaimer at the top of this post, so you can’t say I didn’t warn you that my perspective on the whole ideal was probably going to not be well-thought out.
That’s not to say, I still don’t fully stand by everything I wrote above. What it does mean is that I didn’t quite articulate as well as, or as much as, I wanted to in order to defend my argument.
For one — yes, I understand the package the Hornets were receiving for Chris Paul was probably the best return they were going to get. I called that package “throwaway” players because I couldn’t think of a more fancy and concise way to say “players who were decent but weren’t going to make that team a real contender.” It’s not a great package, but it’ll do. Plus, I was purposefully trying to be inflammatory. If they had not made this trade, Chris Paul was going to leave at the end of the season anyway, and they would get nothing. Yes, I’m not a dumbass. I understand how free agency works. And this is the argument a lot of people are making. But my argument is that people are completely missing the point, and what I had assumed was supposed to be “resolved” with the new CBA.
My overriding argument is that the NBA system is still broken. Under the new CBA, while it’s supposed to help in theory, small-market teams still will not be able to retain their players and super teams will continue to be formed elsewhere. This may just be a difference in opinion, but I, for one, am not a fan of super teams, especially super teams that are formed through free agency and/or trades. Super teams formed organically, though the team’s own system and the draft, perfectly fine. But a team “forming” its own big 3 superficially just seems cheap, ironically.
However, in retrospect, after reading what I wrote last night and after thumbing through countless analysis of the non-trade, it’s not a lopsided trade — for now. The Lakers are giving up the second best center in the league and their 3rd leading scorer. That’s a hefty price, understandable. The biggest issue I have with it is what comes after. Because the Lakers were able to bank some money and keep Andrew Bynum, they still have the opportunity to pursue Dwight Howard, despite reports that Howard is going to the Nets. And reports are rumors until he’s signed a contract, so him on the Lakers is still a very real possibility. That’s what bothers me most about the trade, what it allows the Lakers to do after the fact.
If I were being completely honest, the owners should have not vetoed the trade. It’s not the Hornets/Lakers/Rockets fault they know how to expose the system. All this nonsense can occur because the CBA still sucks. And if all 29 of those owners who own the Hornets didn’t want this trade to happen, then they should have never ratified the CBA in the first place. Plain and simple. Even if that meant losing a season. Oh well.
This fiasco just makes all sides look absolutely moronic. I’m still in awe that I’ve churned out over 1300 words about a league I stopped caring about a couple of years ago. Who’s the real moron here?