Patrick Patterson learns he has been traded to District 12 (Rocky Widner/ Getty).
Some professional athletes have a general sense of when they might get traded, due to the perpetual churn of the rumor mill and the fact that many such players request their trades in the first place. For most inclusions in trades, however, a deal can serve as a major surprise. These so-called throw-ins and make-weights don't have the luxury of anticipating being moved. It's always a possibility, but it can be made reality with little warning.
Take, for instance, the recent example of new Toronto Raptors forward Patrick Patterson. Dealt from the Sacramento Kings in the surprising Rudy Gay-centric trade reported by Yahoo's own Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears on Sunday, Patterson discovered his fate in the middle of some quality time with his mother at the movies. However, he did not let the news of the trade get in the way of his plans. From Eric Koreen for the National Post:
Swingman John Salmons was on the couch, doing little of anything. Undersized centre Chuck Hayes was checking out how his fantasy-football team was faring — congratulations on making the playoffs, Chuck. Power forward Patrick Patterson was about to walk into a movie theatre with his mother to see the second installment in the Hunger Games series, Catching Fire.
In the mid-afternoon, all of their phones started to ring, beep or buzz. The texts would not stop.
“My phone was blowing up left and right — friends, people on the team, my agent is calling me,” Patterson said. “I answer it as I’m going into the theatre, and he tells me about the trade and how I’ve been traded and everything. I’m like, ‘Yo, I’ll call you back in about 2½ hours, I’m taking my mom into a movie.’ So I literally found out like five minutes before the movie.”
For those concerned, Patterson did not tell his mother of the news until after the movie, allowing her to properly immerse herself in the dystopia of Panem. [...]
“It didn’t ruin the movie,” Patterson said. “It was a good movie. I couldn’t let it ruin the movie.”
Really, who can blame Patterson for staying in the theater? With Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) having established herself as a force to be reckoned with for President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the ruling class of Panem, "Catching Fire" brings double the thrills and double the romance of the first film in the series. Will Katniss choose Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) or Gale (Random Generated Hemsworth Brother)? Will Woody Harrelson in a Wig (Woody Harrelson) teach her how to win the Hunger Games again? Is it clear that I haven't seen this movie? Patrick Patterson and his mother needed these questions answered!
Or maybe Patterson's reluctance to drop everything to start packing up for the Great White North proves that he was prepared for the possibility of a trade. As noted in Koreen's article, the fourth-year pro has already experienced a trade from the Houston Rockets to the Kings at last year's deadline. He knows how the process works, the ways in which players adjust to such a change on the fly while remaining professional. Clearly, Patterson knew that there would be some value in enjoying himself for 146 minutes (plus previews) before taking care of trade-related logistics.
In the process, he also gave all future traded players an example to live by. If I happen to be moved to another publication this Friday, I will not be leaving the theater during "Saving Mr. Banks." Sometimes it's important to focus on what really matters.
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