Read the opposing argument from Loyal Homer.
My opinion on the ego-driven, selfish behavior of professional athletes today has been thoroughly
chronicled here at The Sports Debates. In fact, it seems like all I have written about in the past few weeks are the exploits of
guys like LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Darrelle Revis.
As a true fan of sports, it is very frustrating to me whenever a person (the athlete or coach) believes they are bigger or more important than the game. These people have been told all of their lives that they are winners, but they have never been instructed on how to BUILD a winning philosophy. When things are going good, they do and say all the right things. But as soon as they are presented with adversity they
stomp their feet and whine.
Check that – they don’t just stomp their feet and whine. They quit.
That is what players like LeBron James, Darrelle Revis, and Chris Paul are – QUITTERS! They have been trained throughout their entire lives to be takers. They have been told they are special, and led to believe that they already are champions. They have been given everything and had excuses made for them, because outsiders (also takers) have perceived them as cash cows.
To them, the journey means nothing more than formality. They lack the real conditioning and training required to EARN a championship. And just like everything else, value is drawn from HAVING, rather than WINNING that championship.
These quitters will only play as long as they continue to get their way. As soon as something happens that they don’t like, they just quit.
In fairness to James, Revis, and Paul, they are not the first athletes to make selfish demands on their team. They are simply among the latest in a very long line of contract athletes who have an over-inflated sense of self-worth. And now the fraternity of quitters has a new pledge – Carmelo Anthony.
We’ve heard the song and dance before. His team isn’t giving him the tools he needs to win a championship, and so he wants out. Blah, blah, blah. The REAL situation is that he has watched his buddies land new deals that appear to be from the land of championship milk and honey. As a fellow taker, Anthony absolutely MUST keep up with the Jones’s (or James’s, as the case may be).
Unhappy with his situation in Denver, Anthony seems eager to force a trade. He doesn’t believe that Denver is in a situation to help him genuinely compete for a championship, and so he wants out.
There is a difference between Anthony and guys like Revis and Paul, though. Anthony has leverage. His contract is expiring at the end of this season. If he walks, the Denver Nuggets get nothing in return.
Chris Paul can cry about wanting to be traded, but he still has YEARS on his contract. If he sits out, he loses. Likewise, Darrelle Revis can demand a new contract all day long. But once again, he still has several years of obligation remaining with the New York Jets. And so a decision to sit out in protest of his seemingly unfair contract does nothing more than take a year off of his career.
By comparison, although I believe Anthony would be wrong in forcing this situation, he will be playing the negotiating game correctly. He would be timing his demands in such a way that he can actually capitalize on the situation, and is shifting the pressure onto the Denver Nuggets and forcing them to make a decision.
Something, or nothing?
If the Nuggets do not grant Anthony his trade, he will simply walk away at the end of the season and leave Denver in the same rebuilding mode the Cleveland Cavaliers are in this year. Either way they are losing Carmelo Anthony. They just have to choose how and when.
On one hand, they can allow him to walk away. In that situation, they would have a roster loaded with nothing more than supporting cast members, and would have no real means to woo another top-tier free agent into their ranks. Instead, they will have to hope for another lucky draft pick where they can get the “next” Carmelo Anthony, and hope to build a franchise around that player.
I know that sounds like a lousy deal for the Nuggets, who would ideally like to utilize Anthony’s talents on the court this season. But he has made his intentions very clear, and the Denver Nuggets have virtually no hope of extending his contract beyond this season.
The better option for the Nuggets is to grant him a trade, and they can get some real value for Anthony, an All-Star caliber player. Just like investing, sometimes cutting your losses can be the wisest decision to make. In this case, there is nothing to be gained in Denver by hanging on to ‘Melo. So rather than continue to uselessly dump time, money, and resources into a player who has already declared his intentions to leave, Denver should just suck it up, deal him away, and at least recuperate some of his value.
I do not condone Anthony’s actions, but he is executing well. Now, the Denver Nuggets choice is one that is simple – lose Carmelo Anthony and gain nothing in return, or lose him and gain something.
When you put it like that, it becomes an easy choice to make.