December 10, 2010
Playing in the NBA involves lots of responsibilities. The most basic of these, by far, is to show up on time to team functions like practices, plane rides and games. Usually, there's no good excuse for it. Your alarm clock can only be broken so many times, J.R. Rider!
Sometimes, though, players have good reasons for being late. Like, say, if there's a terrible snowstorm that brings an entire city to a standstill. In those instances, the team should probably have some sympathy for those who were late.
Cavs head coach Byron Scott (pictured above with Jeremy Piven for some unclear reason) disagrees with this logic. From Jodie Valade of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Scott said he wasn't allowing players to use a snowstorm as an excuse for arriving late to Wednesday's game at The Q. About half the team arrived only about 30 minutes before tipoff, and a few had to abandon cars and run the last few blocks to the arena. "Our players were late getting here, and it didn't excuse them," Scott said. "They're all still getting fined."
I'm all for making rules and holding to them, but it seems like most of these players weren't late because they screwed up. Sure, some players made it on time, but when you sprint several blocks to make it to the arena, chances are you still care about showing up to the game as early as possible.
Scott means business, though, and he's not going to change his mind in this instance. With LeBron James(notes) out of town, the Cavs have been serious this season about treating every player in the same way and not giving anyone special treatment. If they rescinded fines now, then that would set a precedent to wave them again the next time a player screws up. Shouldn't Jamario Moon(notes) have to pay up when he brings too many carry-on bags onto the team plane?
It's a slippery slope. Leeway is the path to all-out disorder, and no one wants that for this new incarnation of the Cavs. They're supposed to be hard workers, fine young men, and people that the Cleve can be proud of. Let one problem slip, and pretty soon the whole team will be a mess. You know, because they're in such great shape right now as is.