Posts Tagged ‘carlos boozer’

Treadmills are horrible things.    To prove my point, let’s walk through a typical treadmill encounter. 

You come to the gym determined and ready.  You know that you’re going to stick with it and burn those calories.  You jump on the treadmill, force your creaking bones to move, and tell yourself that no matter how bad it gets, you can do it.  You imagine yourself running on a trail through a beautiful countryside, the sun shining and the wind whipping your hair as you glide effortlessly over the landscape.  

Your legs begin to tire, and you need some motivation.  You conjure up a massive bowl of ice cream waiting for you just over the next hill.  You struggle.  It’s not getting any closer.  You start to feel some real pain.  Ice cream just isn’t cutting it.  Desperate to stay the course, you throw yourself into a small alleyway in Pamplona, Spain.  As you sprint for your life from sweating, snarling bulls who would like nothing more than to trample and gore you, you happen to glance down at the treadmill timer.  It mocks you.  3:34.  3:35.  At 3:54 you smash the stop button, gasp for air, and begin the walk of shame toward the gym door.  Treadmill?  Forget it.  You’ll run later tonight when you get home.  Maybe.

Treadmills are boring, because no amount of imagination can compensate for a lack of real world scenery or the “thud, thud, thud,” of your sneakers on the grass. 

To be interesting, you actually have to be going somewhere.

So why are we wasting so much of our time speculating on NBA free agency?  Now that Stoudemire has signed with the Knicks, there’s nothing to see here.  Move along.  Sure, Bosh and Boozer are going to sign somewhere (who wouldn’t want to get out of Toronto and Utah?), but are they going to have a significant impact on a new team?  There are only two free agents in this draft who have proven they can change the outcome of a game by themselves.  

I’m looking at you, Lebron James and Dwayne Wade.  This is a two-horse race, but it’s happening on two treadmills, a thousand miles apart.  It’s not interesting.  LeBron and Dwayne Wade gain negotiating power over their current teams by virtue of the fact that they could leave.  It’s in their best financial interest to pretend they’re going somewhere.  But they’re not.  Why would they?

Let’s look at Lebron’s treadmill.  The Cavs has undergone some serious changes already, giving Mike Brown the boot and losing GM Danny Ferry.  They’ve brought in Byron Scott, and they’ve said that assistant GM Chris Grant will take over where Ferry left off.  We know that both Scott and Grant are there to make and keep James happy.  Can Lebron get that in New York with D’Antoni and Walsh?  No way.  Can he get it in Chicago with their loudly publicized front-office discord?  Not a chance.  What about Miami?  If you play for Riley, he owns you.  Not the other way around.  The Cavs handed Lebron the keys to the kingdom years ago, but this year he’s gotten the puppet advisors, the court jester, the fairest princess in all the land, and a stash of AK-47s that he’s always wanted.  Why would he go anywhere?   Keep it up on that treadmill Lebron.  You look great.

And what about Dwayne Wade’s treadmill saga?  He’s playing for Eric Spoelstra, with GM Pat Riley ready to take the reins at a moment’s notice.  While you don’t want to be Spoelstra in that situation, being Dwayne Wade is great.  Does he want to go to Cleveland and be known as LeBron’s Sidekick?  Does he want to sign with the Knicks and play run-and-gun with Amare?  Doubtful.  He wants more titles.  He’ll make more money, have more opportunities to grab role players(can you say cap space?), and be happier staying in Miami.  But keep running in place Dwayne.  The exercise is good, and you don’t want to end up looking like your T-Mobile buddy, Barkley.

We can learn a lot from context, so let’s look at other free agent signings thus far.  Paul Pierce?  Ran in place, got bored, suffered an imaginary knee injury (oh that was two years ago, my bad), limped off the treadmill.  Dirk Nowitzki?  Ran in place, had a small insect bump his shooting hand, flopped off the treadmill.  Joe Johnson?  Hit the treadmill, got offered enough to get off 5 seconds later, cashed his check.  Rudy Gay?  Same Story.

These guys are just putting on a show.  It’s a good show, and they’re putting in a good effort.  But It’s much ado about nothing.  To be interesting, you actually have to be going somewhere.