NBA lockout was finally resolved two weeks ago, ending
our “Basketball Jones” depression. Even though college
basketball has been “poppin’,” it doesn’t resolve our
daily dose of funks, dunks, shakes and bakes that come
with professional basketball. So now the NBA is back and
commissioner David Stern hasn’t cut us any slack, as the
talent of the league have sought to “test their value”
in the market before
the 66 game season starts. Stern flexed on the players
immediately when he stopped Pau Gasol/Lamar Odom from
going to the Hornets and Chris Paul from going to the
Lakers. Still looks like he’s ruling with the iron fist
that caused the lockout in the first place.
also looks like Stern has a bias. Hornets netted TWO all-stars
for one all-star, but the “Commish” essentially said they
were too old and that he wasn’t going to let the Lakers
“upgrade.” That’s when the problems started. Not only
did Paul (and the other players) find out “free agency”
really ain’t free, the Lakers found out you can’t
get a star before quit a star.
Lakers tried the typical “playa” move of trying to get
a dime for two nickels. In this case, Paul is clearly
the best point guard in the league (even though Chicago
point guard Derrick Rose is the league’s MVP). That notwithstanding,
Paul has put together several all-star seasons, so he’s
“the Man.” At least right now. But he is a TEN. Lamar
Odom is the league’s “Sixth Man of the Year,” and while
in his prime—he’s past the arc at 32. He’s still an 8.
Pau Gasol is one of the elite centers of the league…but
he’s not in the tope five and he has a reputation of being
soft and disappearing during the playoffs. And he’s old
too (an old 31). He’s a role player that helps the right
team, but not every team. He’s a six. Neither, or
both, were fine enough for Sterns as the league owns the
Hornets and wasn’t about to mess up their gate by trading
the marquee player without an equivalent gate draw. Paul
is contemplating suing the league for restricting his
Lakers wanted to walk out on opening day, Christmas Day,
with their new dime (to go with their old dime, Kobe—who’s
old too, at 33, but as the best player in the league,
STILL fine as hell). Kobe is to basketball what Beyonce
is to music. Ain’t no kickin her to the curb…at any age.
They’ll find another YOU in a minute…But Stern nixing
the Paul deal created what the brothas on the street call,
like this, the old girl found out she was about to be
dumped for the new girl BEFORE the brotha could break
the news. That’s a problem…a fit waiting to be thrown,
let’s say. And that’s exactly what happened. Lamar went
ballistic, and demanded a trade. They couldn’t talk him
out of it. I could hear Mitch Kupchak now, “C’mon Lamar.
You know I still love you. But things ain’t working out.
It’s not you…it’s me. I need something different…not better,
just different.” It went about as well as you would expect
it to go when you trying to upgrade and the other person
knows it. Errbody know what the deal is. The conversation’s
only taking place because Kupchak got caught when Stern
nixed the deal. Odom thought he meant more to the Lakers.
At least a phone call.
with the deal dead, the Lakers were stuck with a jilted
lover, who they wanted to show up to practice. That didn’t
work out well either. Odom said he was “out,” demanded
to leave NOW…which would be the case when the old girl
finds out about the new one. Nobody sticks around, nor
do they expect anybody to. But the Lakers all the way
tripped. They gave up Lamar for a second round draft pick…to
their arch enemy aqnd division rival, no less. That’s
like giving up your still fine @zz girl for a blind date.
You go from a sure thing to unsure about anything and
then you have to see her with somebody you despise several
times a year. This is about as ugly as ugly gets.
a tough one. Every time the Lakers are getting their butts
kicked by the World Champions this year, they gonna look
over there and see Mark Cuban and Drik hugging Lamar,
and sticking his tough out at the Lakers. Every man know
what that’s about (Yeah, I got yo girl!!! I got yo girl!!!).
And the Lakers didn’t even get the upgrade they were looking
to step out with. At least not yet…and there are doubts
that they will.
Johnson tweeted that we should give Mitch Kupchak and
Dr. Buss a chance because he knows they have a plan. Well,
I hope so. Because they tripped, fo real. They only let
their second best player walk off after he heard they
were trading him for the BBD (bigger and better deal).
Lamar now has an incentive to help the Mavs repeat as
champions. The Lakers have nothing to show for letting
Lamar go, yet.
not quite what we were looking for to start the season.
First, USC on probation, then the Dodgers implode and
now this… L.A. sports ain’t what it used to be.
Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad, is a national columnist,
managing director of the
Urban Issues Forum
and author of
Saving The Race: Empowerment
Through Wisdom. His Website is AnthonySamad.com. Twitter @dranthonysamad. Click
to contact Dr. Samad.