It’s finally here. The NBA trade deadline. After 3 PM ET today, there can be no more trades for the rest of the season, which means that each team will have to continue with whoever they have, like it or not, for the rest of the year and hope for the best. It also means that we can stop having to listen to “reports” and “talks” and “rumors” of “possible trades.”
Trading is a huge part of all sports, but unfortunately for some teams it has taken precedence over what’s really important, and that is winning with what you currently have. Sure, making a trade to improve your team makes perfect sense, but when the focus around your team surrounds the possible trade of one (usually the best) player, it’s easy to get distracted, whether you’re one of the players, coaches, or the player. Especially when this happens for months.
Two guys who’ve been talked about endlessly this season are the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Laker’s Andrew Bynum, both young and talented centers who have promising futures. I have never personally cared for either; they are both immature and I honestly doubt if they truly care about winning. But I’ll admit that both are exceptional talents. Bynum is very skilled, and Howard might be one of the best athletes on the planet. But I wouldn’t want either on my team.
And neither would Magic Johnson.
Last night during halftime of the Bulls vs. Heat game, the ESPN guys were talking about these two in particular. One of the analysts, former player Jon Barry, asked Magic who he’d rather play with.
“The dude who wants to win, and I’m not sure either one. I’ll take Kareem.” (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, all-time leading NBA scorer who Magic played with from ’79 to ’89, winning 5 championships together.)
I guess I’d rather take Kareem, too.