February 03, 2012

Jerry West: Teams shouldn't give in: According to former Los Angeles Lakers general manager Jerry West, teams needn't worry so much about a superstar demanding to be traded.

West, being careful not to mention players by name, alluded to situations like the one the Orlando Magic currently faces with Dwight Howard, saying there's no reason teams should give into those demands.

Asked what he would do as a lead executive in a situation where a superstar has made it known he wants out, the ex-Laker executive said it was fairly clear-cut.

"I honestly think I'd call their bluff," West said in an interview on 710 ESPN's Mason and Ireland show Thursday, not mentioning Howard specifically. "I really would, because I don't think any agent or player is going to leave $30 million on the table. ... I just don't believe that's going to happen."

posted by preacher81 to basketball at 11:46 AM - 10 comments

This just in, agents and players are greedy bastards.

That said, I agree with West. But the escalation of player salaries and the owners unwillingness to risk losing and continuing to pay the players more than they probably won't change. They whinge and complain with each CBA and then continue to overspend and overspend until the next time the CBA is up.

posted by scully at 01:22 PM on February 03, 2012

The reason why teams "give in" is because they get nothing if they just wait and let their player enter free agency. It's kind of ludicrous to believe that if Orlando just holds out, they will be able to re-sign Howard. A lot of these players are going to bigger markets where they will get bigger endorsement dollars to make up for whatever they would lose by staying with a smaller market team that may or may not be committed to winning.

posted by bperk at 01:59 PM on February 03, 2012

When West was the Lakers GM, he signed Shaq and Orlando got nothing for him. The Magic fell into a hole they didn't climb out of until drafting Dwight Howard.

posted by rcade at 02:10 PM on February 03, 2012

West can probably afford to call their bluff seeing that he worked in one of the two most alluring cities for media and endorsements while in LA. I am not so sure he would go out on that limb in Memphis unless he has players really wanting to endorse FEDX.

posted by preacher81 at 02:46 PM on February 03, 2012

If just one time an owner said NO and paid a player for one year without letting him play, they'd put a stop to this "I want to be traded to one of these three teams only", bull----. I think the fans would be supportive. I can't speak for everyone, but I bet almost all of the fans are tired of these fat cat millionaire ballplayers forcing trades. Take a poll in Cleveland or Orlando, see what they think of all of this. Pretty soon becoming a 'superstar' will automatically earn you a spot on the Knicks or Nets, Lakers or Mavs roster. I'm ready for baseball. At least there it's not an everyday occurrence...

posted by mitchigan at 11:42 AM on February 04, 2012

If an NBA star is willing to take significantly less money to leave his team, I don't have a problem with it. Orlando hasn't shown that it can put a great team around Dwight Howard consistently. I can see why he might be ready to move on.

posted by rcade at 12:00 PM on February 04, 2012

If Howard was on the bench, that would be a signal to fans that the team doesn't want to win. Why would fans want to pay money to watch a team that doesn't want to win? It undermines the integrity of the league for teams to not put forward the best possible team. All that to avoid a player about to become a free agent from picking his next team.

posted by bperk at 12:08 PM on February 04, 2012

I think a lot of fans would be supportive. There's no perfect solution. Sending a message like that would only prove to strengthen the integrity of the game, not undermine it. It takes more than one player to win.

posted by mitchigan at 12:40 PM on February 04, 2012

They should pick one team each year and let 3 or 4 studs sign with it...

...and then let a Mavs equivalent whup 'em in the Finals.

posted by beaverboard at 02:10 PM on February 04, 2012

I think a lot of fans would be supportive.

Right, the fans of rival teams. Benching a guy for a year and the letting him sign somewhere else? That's not a good plan for any franchise. You know who it's good for is for fans of other teams that just want to say a big, "Fuck You" to a star player because they don't like the idea of players being able to choose where they get to play.

posted by tron7 at 07:09 PM on February 04, 2012

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