Thank you. My dad had an amazing run, playing tennis until he was 92, driving until he was 100, and still able to walk about with only a cane until the last month of his life, at 102.
Regarding player empowerment, it took me a few days to figure it out, but after reading various articles about how the negotiations went, I think we just witnessed a Machiavellian-level power coup by Kawhi Leonard, and a media narrative that is so rooted in anti-LeBron and anti-Lakers sentiment they applaud Kawhi as a hero.
But think about this.
Has any player in history been able to both build the team he wanted to play for and at the same time damage three other teams?
The back channel team building by LeBron, Wade and Bosh was all done by free agents, and yet LeBron became the league’s biggest villain.
On the other hand, Kawhi got another player in Paul George to force a trade from his team with two years left in his contract. Remember what the media said about Anthony Davis wanting a trade?
When Kevin Durant left the Warriors to signwith Brooklyn, he didn’t hold the Warriors and other suitors hostage by asking for more time to make a decision. He made the announcement on June 30th, the first day of free agency. If he wanted to screw Golden State, he could have pushed back his announcement date so the Warrior wouldn’t have had time to make the deals necessary to fill out their team.
Kawhi stretched his decision as long as possible to give the Clippers enough time to make a deal for Paul George, so he knew what he wanted to do before free agency started. He misled the Lakers into thinking they were a viable contender, and because of it, they lost six days to play the free agency market. The Lakers were damaged by Kawhi’s deception, and yet the media has said nothing, because they hate the Lakers so much.
The Lakers were investigated and fined for tampering with Paul George, and nobody said a word about the Clippers stalking Leonard for a year.
I think the NBA may have crossed a line here, because the long term effect of this type of manipulation will eventually hurt small market teams.