The National Basketball Association has, with great consternation, decided that it should play basketball games this season after all. There are many new changes to the league with this latest collective bargaining agreement, but the overall system is still that of a soft salary cap with a variety of exceptions.
But there are still major questions about this new agreement. Will it lead to greater competitive balance? [Answer: No. And that’s not what the league should be interested in anyway.] Will it help keep costs down? [Answer: No. Owners still love trying to one up one another.] Will it offer adequate protection to teams in smaller markets? [Answer: No, especially if the league owns the team, and it can veto any of its trades, and it can pretend that it is vetoing the trade “for basketball reasons”.]
There are many individuals who have been affected by this new agreement, and many of them are asking for help from unlikely sources. No source is more unlikely than our own self described avocational guidance counsellor, “Dynamite Eating” Edvard van de Kamp. Here he offers his assistance to those who may need it – but probably shouldn’t be listening to it.
Dear Edvard: My team waived me under the amnesty clause, which means that I could be forced to join a team that I don’t like and be stuck there for the entire season. If that happens, I’m considering retiring instead of playing for that team. After all, I already had to change teams against my will in the middle of last season. What do you think? Is retiring an appropriate response, or would I just be pussying out?
– Chauncey Billups
New York City, NY, USA
Dear Chauncey: No, you would not be “pussying out”. As an adult human, you have the right to decide where and under what conditions you will work. But you should think twice before retiring. After all, if you retire after being claimed by a team that you don’t want to play for, it would severely restrict your options if you later decide that you do want to resume playing. Though there might be several teams interested in you now, if you miss a year, you will certainly appear less attractive to those teams when the next offseason arrives.
Dear Edvard: I was in a bad situation last season. I was not used to my full potential, and a disagreement with my coach kept growing until I was finally benched for almost two months. But I always enjoyed playing with my current team, and now it looks like I’ll be moving to their rivals. What should I do?
– Richard Hamilton
Detroit, MI, USA
Dear Richard: You should have a good time with your new team. You should also consider not leading mutinies with your new team.
Dear Edvard: I have been an NBA player for four years, but my knees have given me nothing but trouble. In fact, I’ve only played about 25% of my team’s games over that time. My team’s management has been great, but I get the feeling that they’re losing their patience with me. I just signed a new contract, but it’s for only one year. Is my team really going to stick by me?
– Greg Oden
Portland, OR, USA
Dear Greg: Maybe, but who cares? They’re going to give you almost nine million dollars this year, whether you do anything or not.
Dear Edvard: I just signed with my hometown team. Not only that, I’m the first Canadian player who has ever played for the team. Isn’t that awesome?
– Jamaal Magloire
Toronto, ON, Canada
Dear Jamaal: Yes.
Dear Edvard: I totally didn’t meet with the Nets. Really. How do I convince everyone that there was no tampering?
– Dwight Howard
Orlando, FL, USA
Dear Dwight: I cannot comment on that, as your team did not give me permission to speak with you.
Dear Edvard: My team is trying to trade me, but the league has already blocked one trade that seemed like a good solution. What can I do to show the league that the teams, and the league as a whole, are better served by making this trade?
– Chris Paul
New Orleans, LA, USA
Dear Chris: You should purchase an hour of programming on ESPN, to be titled “The Trade”, wherein you announce that you will be taking your talents to Hollywood.
Dear Edvard: Why doesn’t my team want me any more?
– Lamar Odom
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Dear Lamar: Because they’re dumb.
Dear Edvard: Why doesn’t the league want me to move to a team that clearly wants my services?
– Pau Gasol
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Dear Pau: Because they’re even dumber than your old team.
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