By Austin Hutchinson
The NBA has changed a lot over past 20 years. In the 1990’s and earlier, it was a physical game.
The players wore shorts that would make a marathon runner proud. It wasn’t all about having a team of superstars, because the best players in the league generally stayed with one team.
The Chicago Bulls are the luckiest franchise in NBA history. They landed and kept Michael Jordan. The Boston Celtics of the 60’s had Bill Russell, who by the way won nine straight championships with Red Auerbach. The Lakers had Magic Johnson. The Celtics had Larry Bird. The lists could go on and on.
But in the modern salary cap era, we watch superstars give up money to go play with other superstars. No matter the team. Sometimes even the market. (I’m talking to you LeBron James) Some players would rather make the big bucks than ensure being apart of a competitive team. (I’m talking to you Carmelo Anthony) Some players, who are true blue to their hometown til the end, return out of loyalty. Just like the players in the “good old days.” (I’m talking to you Damian Lillard)
The NBA’s moratorium period of nine days before the league allows actually contracts to be signed is the weirdest logic system ever. It’s like they took a page out of the NCAA’s book. Now don’t get me started on the NCAA. I will call your players “Student-Athletes” when you give them some rights.
But, a period of a handshake agreements is necessary for the ever changing 17, 18 year olds mind. They dont have the willpower to correctly identify what they want for their future.
A 24-year old NBA veteran center should.
A handshake agreement isn’t immutable. You can back out. It’s rude and obviously immature, but you do have the option of backing out. But, in the NBA world, it’s almost unacceptable to do so.
DeAndre Jordan made a decision. He agreed to sign with the Dallas Mavericks by a handshake agreement with their owner, Mark Cuban. Then he thought about it and realized he wasn’t sure about his decision. So when his former team, the L.A. Clippers, found out, they camped out at his house and waited until the midnight deadline for him to sign with them.
I’m not here to tell you why Jordan is wrong in changing his mind. When life passes you a mulligan, you grab that sucker and take it. He has the right to. But, what is disrespectful, and what proves his immaturity, is that he could not apologize respectfully to the person he had agreed to sign with.
This man has always been questioned about his maturity. Jordan, coming out of Texas A&M, decided he would only work out with lottery teams. Because of that, his stock plummeted, and he fell into the early second round of the NBA draft.
His own teammate, future Hall of Fame point guard, Chris Paul, would simply ignore him and give everyone else high-fives in the huddle, while leaving Jordan empty handed. And Chris Paul is a pretty pleasant neighbor to have, if you ask me.
When you have a history of being arrogant and not likable, it makes me question your maturity. DeAndre Jordan. And when you do apologize, you do it very meekly and weakly through Twitter, you see why this man, DeAndre Jordan, is a bit of 21st century yuppie of apathy.
Mr. Jordan, you have lost my respect. And when I see you dunk on somebody ferociously from the seasons to come, I will never think of your theatrics the same. Because I don’t honor a dishonorable man. But I will make an example out of your immaturity. An example that all follow, that none should.