Wow! What a day, yesterday, in the NBA! The New York Times commemorated Lebron’s “decision” with an awesome cover for its Sports section. I’ve always respected LeBron’s game (how could anyone not?!), but now, I respect him as a person for what he conveyed in his heartfelt letter to explain why he chose to go back to Cleveland. I love that he chose to write a letter to share his decision. LeBron has, indeed, matured and I see a great deal of character in this man. I’m actually rooting for him to win a ring in Cleveland now, which is something I never expected I’d ever do.
King James spoke, and the dominoes did, indeed, fall. But for Devil Money (AKA Daryl Morey), it was like he was laying the final card on his house of cards in his dark evil headquarters and Chris Bosh walked in and opened the window to let in some fresh air. This is what McMorey (AKA McHale and Morey) gets for their superstar-fucking ways. For worshiping only the players they perceive to be superstars, while treating everyone else like “disposable numbers”, as Chris Baldwin so aptly puts it in his latest excellent article on Lin. This is poetic justice at its best! I’m embarrassed by the delightful sense of Schadenfreude that engulfed me when I heard the news that Chris Bosh had spurned the Rockets to stay in Miami. It’s a very rare moment for me to be so giddy at the misfortune of someone else. I’m sure a lot of Lin fans felt the same way yesterday after hearing the Chris Bosh news.
Yesterday, my initial reaction to the news that Lin had been traded to the Lakers was to be very concerned, yet, hoping for the best. Now that I’ve had some time to think about it and have digested the comments of the Lin fan base, I realize that I was thinking too small and was missing the bigger picture. There is really only one negative about Lin going to the Lakers and that’s him playing alongside another ball-dominant guard, Kobe Bryant. That’s really it! Everything else about Lin going to the Lakers is hugely positive. I also discovered, via a Bleacher Report article, that that Lakers GM, Mitch Kupchak “has been intrigued by Lin for a long time—to the point that Lin’s family was led to believe the Lakers would draft the former Harvard star with the 58th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft.” This is something that I was completely unaware of when I heard the Lin news and this is HUGE. I thought the Lakers were only interested in Lin because of the sweetners that comes with taking on Lin’s contract and didn’t really care about Lin as a player. But after learning this, I can see the potential of Lin being a Laker for Life (or close to it) and that’s the big picture that I was missing in my knee jerk reaction, yesterday.
I also didn’t think more deeply about Kobe and where he is at in his career and how that could have very positive implications for Lin playing alongside Kobe Bryant. I think Kobe is a lot more humble now in his old age and his devastating injury would make him a much better teammate. Kobe is also more mature than Harden and has less to prove, since he’s done it all. Kobe also has a lot of fans in China and is too smart to do anything to upset his fan base there by doing anything that could be construed as him not welcoming Lin. All of this, along with Kobe’s respect for Lin’s game, would allow Kobe to be a much better teammate than Harden was to Lin. In my post yesterday, I said that “Kobe is worse than Harden, or at least just as bad, when it comes to ball hogging and having an ego.” I was wrong. I think Kobe, because of his injury and old age, is going to be more willing to share the scoring load and is much more humble (even declining his All Star invitation this past season, saying in effect that young guys like Lillard deserve to be there, not him).
Yesterday, the Lin news to Lakers came as a shock to me, since I hadn’t heard any news about discussions between Rockets and Lakers as it pertains to Lin. And the Lakers is one of the teams that Anthony was considering joining, so it wouldn’t make sense for the Lakers to get Lin before Anthony has made his decision (this also shows a level of respect that the Lakers organization has for Lin, because there’s no way Anthony joins now that Lin is on the team, right?!). Since I haven’t had time to really think about the Lakers and Kobe, my perceptions about Kobe hadn’t been properly updated to capture present-day realities. Now that I have had time to process things, my concern about the type of teammate Kobe would be to Lin has been mitigated to a level that more accurately resembles reality. And this is why I’m cautiously optimistic and actually feel like this move is probably the best-case-scenario for Lin and–especially overall because Houston gets screwed in the process as an unexpected bonus. I’ve always liked Chris Bosh. Now, I like him even more for using the Rockets to get a better deal to stay in Miami (basically giving Morey a taste of his own medicine).
Anyway, back to Lin. Now that my concern about Kobe has been abated, I do think Lin came out a big winner, which is the complete reverse of how I felt yesterday. Aside from my abated concern about Kobe, everything else about the Lakers is a huge positive for Lin.
- Lin is with an organization (and a GM) that respects his game–even before Linsanity.
- Lin has a chance to make a big mark on a storied franchise with the potential of becoming their star of the future!
- Lin could likely be the number two or maybe three option on the team, depending who else the Lakers bring on (the Lakers’ roster situation still pretty fluid at the moment).
- As long as Nash remains with the Lakers (I believe the Lakers are trying to get rid of his contract), Nash will be a big name supporter of his within the organization.
- Lin is in a big market, where he will, once again, get the attention and relevance that he deserves (even though he may not want it).
- The Lakers fan base is high on Lin and are hungry for any injection of excitement that Lin will likely provide, so even doubters of Lin there will likely be converted to Lin supporters.
- The LA media appears to be pretty positive about Lin, from what I’ve seen. They actually report accurate stuff about Lin. In addition, LA and NYC own the national media landscape, so the media will be on Lin’s side now that he’s in LA.
- Magic Johnson, who has a big megaphone, has always been a Lin fan and he now has even more reason to support Lin.
So there is a great deal to love about this move as a Lin fan and much to look forward to. And I’m so glad to rid myself of McHarden, Devil Money, Toxic Rockets, JFaken (Jonathan Feigen) and the KluKlutchFans (e.g., Clutch Fans, The Dreamshake, etc.) of the world. It’s such a cathartic feeling to shed myself of all the disgusting grime that has built up from having to deal with this organization and most of its fan base.