Monday, August 6, 2007

What is with Indiana?

It's a trend for players to want to get out of Indiana. Here is Jermaine O'Neal talking during a charity basketball game about how he would love to be traded to the Lakers or the Nets and how he is not interested in being involved in the rebuilding of the Indiana Pacers. I understand how someone who has been in the league for many years would be more interested in playing for a championship right away instead of playing for a championship in 4-7 years but let's keep the talk internal. Going out to the press and talking about wanting to be traded contributes to a negative view of the franchise you are looking at getting away from. And I am sorry but it doesn't matter what the reasons are, legit or not legit, for wanting out, it still makes that team look bad. Jermaine O'Neal says it is because he won't be able to physically carry the load for a bunch of youngsters for the next 5-6 years. But now what happens if he doesn't get traded? He is going to now spend a year in a city he said he wanted out from. He is going to play on a team with players he said he didn't want to play with. And everything will be distracting from the more important issues like winning basketball games. Ron Artest did the same thing and Indiana has been on a down fall ever since (sure it started with the Brawl in the Palace, but the trade request continued the down fall). All I am saying is that when players sign a contract, they really need to consider all possibilities before signing on the line which is dotted. If you sign a 7 year contract, then you are in for 7 years no matter what direction the team goes. That needs to be the line of thinking. And don't give me the Kobe "they lied to me" reasons. The "they told me they were going to be playing for champsionships every year" thing. A business in 7 years has the right to change its mind and to go in different directions. The world changes quite a bit in that span of time, and a business needs to do the same thing. You sign up for 7 years, then you need to ride the wave. If you want out, talk to your boss and ask nicely but trying to force someone to make a move by going public is unprofessional and it needs to stop. Again, if the player believes he has a legit reason for wanting something different, talk to the management and see what happens. If they don't want to do anything then you finish the contract and then you are free to do whatever you want.

Now if he was traded to the Lakers for let's say Odom and Bynum, Lakers didn't want to do that before but they might change their minds now, would this help the Lakers? NO. Is O'Neal that different then Odom? Is the power of O'Neal/Bryant/Fisher going to beat Duncan/Parker/Manu? Or Nash/Marion/Amare? Lakers might be a notch better, but they are still first round cannon folder material. Even if they only traded Odom and kept Bynum, they are not that much better. Now if O'Neal went to the Nets for Jefferson would the Nets be better? I do think so. They have two players doing the perimeter thing with very little inside action. Krstic might be improving, but I would rather have a healthy O'Neal. And getting that inside punch to go with the outside attack of Carter and the always amazing Jason Kidd would be much stronger then what the Nets currently have. So as Rap fans, we must hope that if anything does happen, it is the Lakers that gets screwed. It's tough though to be honest. Whenever I hear these trade requests happen, I always perfer that the player is not traded, make him suffer. Problem is that the franchise also suffers in doing that so it's a tough call for Indiana. But like I said, this whole thing needs to stop.

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