Pick and Choose your Battles

If you haven't seen it yet Draymond Green had a couple things to say about how players are treated in the NBA last night. Here's what he said:

Draymond was set off by the events unfolding in Cleveland right now where the Cavs are looking to trade Andre Drummond. Here's what is happening there according to ESPN:

The Cavaliers are moving to make Jarrett Allen the franchise's long-term starting center and believe it's unfair to Drummond to limit his minutes as the organization transitions to Allen, sources told ESPN. Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman discussed the move with Drummond and his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, and decided together that Drummond would remain with the team but would no longer be active for games, sources said. Cleveland is starting to gauge the trade market, but there are no serious ongoing discussions with any team, sources told ESPN. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff acknowledged the decision to sit Drummond on Monday. "Sometimes you're forced into difficult positions that's not easy to navigate, but in respect to Dre and all that he's done and accomplished and as much as he's helped us, we thought this was the fairest thing to do for him,'' Bickerstaff said before the Cavs closed out a road trip Monday night at Golden State.

The Cavs are looking to go in a different direction and do not want Andre to be hurt by their decision. The Cavs, Andre, and his agent have come to a mutual agreement on how to proceed. This appears to be one of the more well handled splits in recent history and I'm not sure why Draymond is so upset here. Draymond goes on a whole thing about mutual respect and the players need to be treated better. That's a hard bill to sell right now after the disappearing stunt Kyrie just pulled in Brooklyn, the blatant disregard Harden showed for the Rockets (that even Draymond acknowledged), and the current climate we are facing as a country. Kyrie and Harden paid no price for their actions and Harden ultimately got what he wanted. It's not even like the Cavs came out and said Andre is a bum and a cancer and he needs to go. They simply said we traded for a new player that we're excited about and unfortunately he's going to eat into Andre's minutes, so we feel it's in the best interest for both sides to move on. This is why the NBA is hemorrhaging viewers. People are tired of hearing the players complain about this, that, and the other. All while often times taking little responsibility for their own actions.

Draymond is forgetting a key aspect here as well. The teams are signing your paychecks, not the other way around. When you sign your contract you know what you're agreeing to. Unless you have a no trade clause, teams can trade you whenever they want, to whoever they want. They can also play you as many minutes as they like. This is no different from any other job in the world. You agree to work for a company and they can re-assign you to new locations and hours as they wish. The problem Draymond is encountering here is he realizes they can't have it both ways. Players want to be able to move around as freely as they want, whenever they want, regardless of their contracts, and receive no criticism for it. He targets his anger at the teams and the league when he should be targeting the media. Teams don't call a player they're trying to trade cancerous, that would hurt their value. It's not in the teams best interest. The media are the ones who run wild with stories about tense relationships and hard to handle players, because it sells stories. No one is talking about the mutual agreement between Andre and the Cavs to part ways because thats boring. Everyone is talking about Draymond complaining about this though because thats drama, and drama sells.

The NBA and its organizations have more respect for the players now than they have at any point in their history. Organizations are investing massive amounts of resources into training and recovery improvements for players. Organizations have bent over backwards to accommodate the 'load management' programs their star players are so fond of. The league has redone scheduling practices to eliminate the amount of back-to-backs teams have to play in a season. They've raised the league minimum so that lesser known players get their fair share. Trade requests are often granted every-time they are made now, and rather quickly. Take a look at the Harden trade. Caris Levert was sent to Indiana as part of that deal. During the physical they found a spot on his kidney that was a major concern. In the past this would have killed the deal immediately, but in this new age the Pacers still went through with the deal and took on the challenges and expenses of dealing with Levert's health situation. Hell the league even removed the title of team owner and made them governors to be more politically correct I guess you would say. When the players didn't want to play during the bubble because of social justice concerns the league shut the whole operation down for several days. They changed jerseys and the court to stand in solidarity with the players. The league has given into just about every demand the players have made for the better part of the 2000s, often times at great expense to the league, owners, and ultimately the fans. The fans are the ones who pick up the tab for all of this. Rising ticket prices, merchandise costs, TV package prices, the whole deal. You have to take out a second mortgage on your house if you want to go to a professional sporting event these days. We are going to reach the cliff at some point soon. The rising salaries and the costs to consumers cannot continue to increase exponentially as they are. Especially with the massive loss of revenue many leagues are suffering thanks to COVID and the ban on fans. To Draymond I would just say pick and choose your battles. In a time where millions of Americans are suffering and struggling to make ends meet thanks to a pandemic that killed their jobs and their livelihoods, just consider yourself lucky to be cashing your checks every week and working in a safe environment where everything around you is constantly monitored and tested. It's never wise to bite the hand that feeds you.