June 19, 2008
One can guess where your head is at.
You're in front of a computer, for whatever reason. You've pulled BDL, and this post, up. You've likely sat through us going back and forth regarding two of the most storied franchises in sport (much less the NBA) for three weeks, and four of the more prominent and successful NBA clubs out there (once we throw in Detroit and San Antonio) for a few weeks before that.
You know that the Finals are over, the C's won, and that the Draft is still a week away. You also know that Skeets and KD get a bit of a thing in certain areas when it comes to reverently handling coverage of what we're supposed to.
And, here it is: a guard few have ever heard of, on the NBA's most unheralded team, going back to Europe. Somebody's trying to be obscure, and somebody succeeded on top of the trying.
It's not like that, I swear.
Juan Carlos Navarro is a bit obscure, but he can also ball, and he's heading into his prime. He's also reported to have signed a five-year, 25 million dollar deal with FC Barcelona, that's huge money, and that's probably twice as much as he'd get in the NBA's open market. And the reason I'm bringing this up, is because I'm a little (well, a lot) bummed that I can't watch him play stateside this year.
But that's me. And while the original intentions behind this post were to wonder aloud about just how the NBA let JCN go (took years to bring him over, saw him struggle with learning English, traded his best friend in the world halfway into the season for Kwame Brown, had no real money to offer him to stay), a good evening's thought turned it into something else.
And that something else is this:
Over the summer, NBA players are going to be met with a series of tough choices regarding their future employment, just how much money they'll make, and who they'll make it with. And 99 times out of 100, the players will follow the dough. No shame in that.
What I am asking is - please, dearest ballers and shot callers - look after the things that bring you joy outside of making the most dough. It's incredibly important. Go after winners. Go after teams you can contribute to. Go after teams you'd fit on, for whatever reason. Follow the money, but don't make it everything.
Summer after NBA offseason after summer I spend too much time hemming and hawing over players heading to teams that you know they're just not going to be able to work with, while knowing quite well that the teams in question will be regretting the move sooner rather than later. I'm sick of that. Lose that. Follow the fun. Do what makes you happy, no matter how un-rehearsed, no matter how embarrassing, and no matter how out of tune you are.
Follow JCN's lead, even if it means you tick off some NBA scribe who digs your game in a certain situation. Do what you can now to avoid that trade demands and/or salary/luxury tax woes that could make for headaches later. It's a long summer, use it.