In the good old days of basketball, movement among players was rarely seen. In those days it was either the players moving on after finishing their contract or if a rebuild was required then such actions were taken. However, most legends finished their career with the team that drafted them especially if the player has played a big role in maintaining their team’s standings in the playoffs.
However, these days loyalty among the players and organizations has become a huge question mark and of course it is mostly the players who get the blame. There are countless examples of such incidents. You have LeBron James going to Miami, Kevin Durant going to Golden State Warriors. Since then the movement has even increased.
Paul George was a classic example as he promised the Thunder fans that he was going to stay, signed the contract and 2 days later, he ended up going to the Los Angeles Clippers. Or there was also the time when James Harden gained a ton of weight just to get out of Houston. The most recent has to be Ben Simmons saga which pushed him to the Brooklyn Nets.
If such situations were to occur then of course, the players earn the blame for doing so. Forcing your way out of a team because of some mental health issue is saying a lot. But is it always the players fault? Is it always the players who are responsible for the question of loyalty they pledge to a team? The root of this problem actually lies behind the organizations more so than the players.
Teams making questionable decisions
Now most of the business of the NBA is majorly in the hands of the front office. So why are the players getting most of the blame? Chauncey Billups was drafted by the Boston Celtics. Billups went on to be an NBA champion, a Finals MVP and a Hall of Famer, just not for the Celtics.
Then you have DeMar DeRozan. He has done so much for the Toronto Raptors and even managed to put the Raptors on the map. It was just unlucky that they had to be outdone by LeBron every single time. On top of that he loved the city and pledged his loyalty to his fans. What did he get in exchange; DeRozan was disposed by the Raptors. Since they won the championship with the pick that they got which was Kawhi Leonard, nobody questions them for breaking their loyalty.
Even Scottie Pippen who was Michael Jordan’s partner in crime got some brutal treatment with the city that he had won 6 championships with. After his contract expired and Jordan retired, the Bulls let go of Pippen to the Rockets. Lou Williams who had been an ideal 6th man for the Clippers for a long while got castrated from the franchise when he wanted to stay.
Boston Celtics got greedy?
Jaylen Brown seems to be very close to having gotten the same treatment. The franchise where he made himself an impressive resume and was an important piece in the playoffs, propelling them to the Finals, was considering trading him for a 34-year old Kevin Durant. All of this just to win one championship where they could be winning plenty.
It isn’t a guarantee whether things are going to work out with Durant in the fray. On the other hand, they know that with Brown things were clicking perfectly. Just a few pieces needs to be tinkered and their roster would be complete. Bringing Durant now would in fact be counterproductive for the franchise.
Although trade talks have expired, this attempted trade may as well have left a very poor taste in Brown’s mouth. After helping his franchise reach to such heights, they were willing to get rid of him just for a probable championship. It can be hoped that Jaylen Brown would be the adult in the franchise and make some smart decisions. If it would have been any other player, they would be requesting a trade by now.