Just because Chris Paul is trying to force his way out of small market New Orleans before his contract expires does not mean he is a bad person.
Not that anybody really thinks Chris is a bad dude, but if you did, best friend for life LeBron James wanted to remind you that he isn’t this week at Heat Media Day.
This from ESPN’s Mike Wallace:
“I know Chris personally. You never want to see a good friend go through what he is right now,” James said Monday during the Heat’s media day at AmericanAirlines Arena. “I’m frustrated for him, because I know who he is as a person.”
And good friends deserve to be dealt to the Clippers? I don’t get it.
Nor do I not understand how Paul and his buddies don’t expect some backlash here. Sure David Stern is running away with the “bully of the year” award honors in this particular case, after blocking two seemingly good deals for the Hornets with first the Lakers and then the Clippers, but it’s not CP3 I feel sorry for. It’s Hornets GM Dell Demps, and all the Hornets fans who never wanted to see Chris go in the first place.
A backlash that will inevitably come with trade demands like this one, no matter who veto’s what in the process:
James said it doesn’t bother him that he was heavily criticized for how he handled his free agency, but that there seems to be less backlash on stars requesting trades while under contract. Carmelo Anthony’s trade demand last season that resulted in his move from Denver to New York also drew wide-spread scrutiny.
“It doesn’t bother me at all,” James said. “It would have bothered me last year. If I would have gotten criticized for what I did, and guys came out and tried to do the same thing. I’m at a good place right now. So not too much bothers me anymore.”
James also said he doesn’t think his situation should have any influence on what Paul or Howard are going through with their current teams.
“I think everyone is their own man,” James said. “I was my own man and I had my own decision. My case shouldn’t help or steer Dwight’s decisions or Chris’ decisions or any other free agents’ decisions that come up this year, next year or years to come.”
As far as LeBron’s decision was concerned, in some ways he handled it better with respect to the team he left by waiting until free agency to make his decision. Or waiting until the Boston Celtics series at least. Then again though, the Cavaliers were left with essentially nothing in return as a result.
Which way is the better to do then if you’re a star player wanting out? Either demanding a trade during that final year you’re under contract like ‘Melo, CP3, and Dwight Howard, or playing out that final season with hope surrounding every shot that you’ll stay? I guess they’re both pretty unfortunate, and a storyline that’s becoming increasingly annoying by the day as well.