The Knicks, who just threw away two whole seasons in an effort to sign LeBron James and still don’t know if they can, should be ashamed of themselves. The NBA, which has engineered a free-agency system that allows and often encourages teams to do otherwise unconscionable things like tank entire seasons, should be ashamed of itself. The players, who have all been groomed to believe these max contracts are their birthright, should be ashamed of themselves, but that’s clearly not about to happen.
But we, the sporting public, should be the most ashamed. Because what we have allowed this league and these players to do to us is thoroughly shameful….
These players wouldn’t spit on you if you were on fire. You’re the fool and they’re all playing you for it. Can you imagine if you found out the CEOs of three different high-profile banks got together in secret with a mortgage calculator to discuss which one of them was going to buy your mortgage loan? Or if the presidents of three different Ivy League colleges got together to decide which of them was going to accept your application and which one was going to accept your neighbor’s?
Well, you’d think it was an outrage. The people who hold all the power hanging out together, lighting up cigars and laughing about how great it was all going to turn out for all of them no matter what happens, no matter whose feelings get crushed in the process.
Graz’s scathing teardown of the NBA free agency system is definitely worth a read. I don’t know that I’m as worked up as he is over the current nonsense since, to me, the fault lies wholly on the league for creating this situation. The players and teams are doing their best to take advantage of it, as they should be expected to. But it’s a stupid system regardless, one that appears in need of an overhaul. I’m not saying I know how to fix it, but I’m certain it’s broke.