So by now we are all somewhat up to date with or at least aware of the two biggest off the field news stories in North American professional sport.
The tug of war between the NBA and Los Angeles over Chris Paul, and the never-ending contradictory and hypocrisy of Dwight Howard.
Chris Paul was Craigslist looking for short term apartments in downtown LA about a week ago following the news of his three team trade to his ideal destination of the Lakers. Quickly the league shut down his WIFI and sent him back to his humble abode in New Orleans, to fight another day. Over the next few days the Lakers, Hornets and Rockets attempted to find a deal that would allow a similar trade to be accepted by the league, to the point where the frustration overflowed and the Lakers pulled out, nullifying any chance of a deal.
The basket case that is the Clippers then took the lead and were believed to have struck a deal with New Orleans featuring a ridiculous number of young talent, Kaman’s expiring and Minnesota’s unprotected draft pick which is basically a certainty to be a top 5 pick. The league still asked for more and more to the point where the Clippers, of all teams, pulled out of the running to acquire the game’s finest point guard. Talks have reignited over the past 24 hours, but it’s still a long way from completion.
It seems pretty clear to me that the NBA will demand the most ridiculous of compensation for Chris Paul with a genuine surety of what they are doing. It is no secret the league is desperate to find a buyer for the Hornets and want nothing to do with the team because of the ruckus this situation has created around the league. It is reported that they are close to selling the Hornets, which may be the only resolution to this increasingly boring saga.
Until that happens the league will demand nearly everything in a trade suitor’s building to get Paul. They will ask for the washing machine (ala Semi Pro), the cleaning lady and the squeaky voiced teen that sells the hot dogs. They want the trade partner’s pockets, houses and buildings to be empty when they are done with them. Following the longest lockout in league history, the NBA was proud to say situations like last year’s catastrophic summer where three superstars teamed up and for whatever reason stars can no longer play anywhere but New York and LA, would never happen again. Yet as soon as Stern muttered ‘tentative’, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul were rumoured to New York and LA.
Stern knows it is unlikely any team is willing to give up Ronnie the squeaky voiced teen, Doris the cleaning lady and the gold old reliable washing machine, as well as all their draft picks, young talent and expiring contracts, but is playing a winning game. Should a team eventually crack and give them all of the above, he still has a great product to sell to a potential buyer. If not, he has the league’s ultimate trade chip in Chris Paul to offer to a new owner who can decide where to trade him to and what for based on how he wants the team to move into the future.
Say what you want about the slimy Stern, but he’s a clever man and knows exactly what he is doing, regardless of the fact it took an email from Dan Gilbert to wake him up to it.
That brings us to Dwight Howard.
I am not going to talk about how he criticised LeBron for leaving his team for a bigger market, for better teammates. I am not going to talk about how he said he would never do something like that to Orlando. I am not going to talk about how he promised to stay in Orlando forever. I am not going to talk about him then refusing to commit to Orlando. I am going to talk about his trade request. I am going to talk about him requesting a trade, then 5 minutes later saying there’s no where he’d rather be, before correcting himself again saying he wants to leave ASAP, before clearing his throat and admitting Orlando is the team for him…so on, so forth you get it.
Howard officially requested a trade and fronted the media in a most melancholic way. It’s a side we haven’t seen from the beaming Howard throughout his career. He clearly wasn’t comfortable.
There is not an athlete in the league more worried about being liked than Dwight Howard. It’s not so much that he’s insecure, rather just an attention seeking addict who wants to be everyone’s favourite player and person. I see right through it.
Howard has gone back on his word more times than Tebow has produced game winning drives. That’s just in the last 3 days. SportsNation need to create a new portion on their BS Metre going from Not BS – A little BS – A lot of BS – Total BS – Dwight Howard.
Dwight you are full of BS.
He has cited his reason for leaving being Otis Smith’s (I always go to type Redding when I type Otis) refusal to take into account his trade wishes and lack of decent transactions. Dwight Howard wouldn’t have lasted a season in Cleveland if he didn’t like what Smith did. Every year the Magic went after everyone they could. He brought back franchise favourite Turkoglu, brought in Carter, Richardson, Arenas, Lewis, the list goes on and on. None of them were necessarily enough to win a championship, but he did the most with what he could. None of that can be said for Dan Gilbert and Cleveland. Antawn Jamison? Really?
Howard has attracted the attention of many teams but will only sign with three, according to the never-ending source tree of Chris Broussard. The Lakers, Mavericks and Nets are on Howard’s list. The Lakers can, should and most likely will offer Bynum AND Gasol. I wouldn’t accept it.
Bynum has the knees of an 80 year old and the maturity of an 8 year old. Gasol is ageing, he’s a wimp and I have always thought he was overrated. If you can get Brook Lopez, a bunch of draft picks and something else from a third team, I am taking that immediately. Dallas can’t offer anything, they’ve got no chance, they want Deron. If the Nets get Dwight, Deron will not be going anywhere ever. If he does, Chris Paul will be in immediately.
I think Paul will most likely end up in Los Angeles with the Clippers and I think Dwight will go to Brooklyn with the Nets. It will leave the Lakers red faced and Kobe demanding a trade to Chicago again.
One thing is for sure, we are sick of Broussard on SportsCenter every 5 minutes. Either make the trade or shut up.
The faster Christmas comes the better.
Tags: Basketball Brooklyn Nets Chris Paul Cleveland Cavaliers David Stern Dwight Howard La Clippers LA Lakers Lebron James Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Lakers Miami Heat NBA New Jersey Nets New Orleans Hornets Orlando Magic