Just a couple days ago, my buddy Fatass took his first law school exam. When I asked him how it went, he was calm, cool, and collected (very un-Fatass, for anyone who has had the opportunity of hearing him speak). Unfortunately, he couldn't say the same for his peers. According to him, these people questioned every minute detail of the test they had just finished. I of course was amused, seeing as how I bore witness to this first-hand during my own legal education.
There is nothing to gain from worrying about something for which you no longer have control. Words to live by.
When LeBron James infamously declared that his talents would call South Beach home, most fans, including me, forgave the city of Cleveland for rioting all over their own streets. We forgave them for setting fire to LeBron's Cavaliers jersey. And when Dan Gilbert inexplicably wrote a letter to
his constituents Cleveland fans, admonishing the cowardly decision of LeBron James, we forgave him too, even though it was more childish than the rioting or the burning. As fans of our own teams, we empathized with those actions because we would never want to be in a similar position.
More than a year has gone by, and at the risk of putting a second cliche in this post, time does heal all wounds. But if any of us have ever needed even more of a reason to tell Dan Gilbert to quit it, it came in the form of an e-mail to David Stern last night.
Yesterday, a blockbuster trade occurred between YOUR Los Angeles Lakers, the New Orleans Hornets, and the Houston Rockets. The exact location of all players was to be determined, but we all know that superstar point guard Chris Paul would be heading west to LA. Pau Gasol and Lamar Kardashian would be leaving for the Big Easy. I will put aside my analysis of the trade, partly because we don't know the full details (and now we might never know), but mostly because my cohort KOBEsh has already done a wonderful job on the subject. (Seriously, he's getting pageviews on that post like whoa.)
As most of us have learned within the past 12 hours, NBA Commissioner David Stern nixed the deal. League spokesman Mike Bass vehemently denied the allegation that any NBA owner had anything to do with this. But Yahoo! Sports and the New York Times both obtained an e-mail sent by "Buck Nasty" himself, Dan Gilbert, to Stern. In the e-mail, Gilbert declared the deal to be a "travesty." He suggested that Stern put the trade to a vote to the "29 owners of the Hornets." (As an aside: the NBA owns the Hornets. It is continuing its search to find a buyer, but the other 29 owners collectively have a say in the franchise's operations.)
This is despicable. After enduring a lockout in which both sides failed to understand the definitions of "compromise" and "leverage," fans were buoyed by the prospect of a saved season. Additionally, the whirlwind of news just yesterday about the possible destinations of not just CP3 and Gasol, but Tyson Chandler and Caron Butler, made the hardcore hardwood fans care even less about $254 million over ten years.
Let's put this in perspective. Dell Demps, the Hornets' General Manager, was given full authority to run the franchise's basketball operations. This power was given to him by Stern, and was not questioned by any of the other 29 ownership groups. In a league where the dreaded player opt-out provision leads to franchises being forced to trade blue chip assets for 50 cents on the dollar, Demps turned his unhappy superstar into worthwhile pieces. Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic, AND a number 1 pick!? That's basically a full squad! Demps deserves a standing ovation for pulling the trigger before the gun was pointed at him. But despite his best efforts, we're back to square one. It took a whining, crying, still-upset-over-LeBron owner to derail this train.
Alas, momentum killers are thieves of the night. Dan Gilbert, I no longer feel a shred of hurt for you or the fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers. If the Knickerbockers cannot produce another championship for the rest of eternity, I want LeBron James to win not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7...I want the King to win every game so that you feel pain. I want The Chosen One to stroll into Quicken Loans Arena every year and drop a half dollar on you. I want him to look you in the eyes after every assist to D-Wittle as if he were Reggie Miller and you were Spike Lee. When he partakes in his pre-game powder routine, I want some of it to make a permanent home in your cornea. You are a 9-year-old boy masquerading in a 54-year-old man's body.
What you've just done is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Due to the eventful days in both baseball and basketball, we here at The Great Mambino have postponed our "Burning Questions" series. The fallout will continue, but so will our snark. Thanks for reading.