Business over loyalty
I’M back after a two-week hiatus from journalistic inking.
With much respect to the Celtics faithful, this is simply my two cents’ opinion.
Indeed, the Boston Celtics have acquired Kyrie Irving (from Cleveland in a trade) and Gordon Hayward (from Utah in a sign-and-trade free agency) during the National Basketball association (NBA) offseason, but “How the West was Won” narrative is still what will determine the recipient of the Larry O’Brien hardware in Season 2017-18.
The Golden State Warriors, the defending titlists, have their top eight players back and further boosted bench depth with the addition of three-point snipers Nick Young and Omar Casspi.
The San Antonio Spurs still have bookend forwards Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge under contract, re-signed veteran 6th Man Manu Ginobili and got veteran Rudy Gay in free agency.
The Houston Rockets have obtained the services of playmaker de luxe Chris Paul in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. He joins James Harden (the NBA’s No. 1 assistman and No. 2 scorer last season) in the backcourt and lessens The Beard’s taxing load.
If case you have forgotten, Golden State, San Antonio and Houston finished 1-2-3 during the 2016-17 regular wars.
That is not even to take away anything from the Los Angeles Clippers, who gifted All-Star Blake Griffin with a new deal, and Oklahoma City is no longer a Lone Ranger team with the acquisition of high-scoring Paul George in partnership with do-everything star Russell Westbrook, who only happened to set a couple of triple-double records (posting a season total of 42 T-Ds and registering only the second T-D season average in NBA history but the first since Oscar Robertson turned in the trick with the Cincinnati Royals in 1961-62), capture the second scoring crown in his nine-year pro tenure and romp away with the NBA Most Valuable Player award last campaign.
Boston may challenge reigning conference kingpin Cleveland out in the East as the Cavaliers may have signed up one-time NBA MVP but now injury-prone and fading Derrick Rose in free agency but got the shorter end of the stick in the Irving shipment that got them damaged goods in return for 28-year-old,
5-foot-9 dynamo Isaiah Thomas, who was the East’s top scorer – and third overall in the league – but is expected to miss the start of the 2017-18 wars which will unwrap on October 17 (Oct. 18 Manila time) due to hip problems that shut him out in the playoffs. (Thomas is five inches shorter and three years older than Kyrie, is looking for a max contract once he is eligible for free agency in July 2018. He opted not to go under the knife for his hip problems then and now.)
In case some people have forgotten, loyalty must be a two-way street. Thomas gave his all, injuries and all. He also suited up at the start of the 2017 playoffs despite grieving over the death of his sister in an auto mishap.
And this is what Thomas got.
Loyalty did not matter at all. Business as usual was the reason behind the move.
“We thank you for your services and wish you well in your next destination” is the “consuelo de bobo” declaration a player often gets following a trade.
But if a player defects to another team through free agency, his former team is quick to pounce on him as if it were treachery.
You may have some violent reaction to my opinion but mine is mine and yours is yours.
We can always agree to disagree.
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