Recently, Nets superstar point guard Deron Williams made rather cryptic comments indicating he will be leaving the Nets organization this summer. Recently, Dwight Howard, an elite superstar who jilted the Nets on the eve of being traded to the organization, made a complete mockery of the “catering to the star player dynamic” when his coach, Stan Van Gundy, revealed to reporters that the infantile Howard was working behind the scenes to get him fired.
And I’m relieved.
For more than 20 years, I have devoted myself to rooting for a basketball team for which good fortune is irrelevant, because nothing (highly touted draft picks, free agents, coaches, etc.) ever seems to go right for this organization. The Nets never improve, cause illness and make people unhappy.
There was money in Brooklyn with Deron Williams and Dwight Howard. A lot of money.
In fact, our entire business depended on it. We knew relying on the whims of these pampered superstars wasn’t good for us, but we couldn’t stop.
And then, when the “Dwightmare” officially ended, I realized here was my chance to be someone who can sleep at night because I was no longer invested in the roller-coaster of emotions that seemingly come when you build your team around entitled players like Howard and Williams.
So as of the end of the NBA postseason and the beginning of NBA Free Agency, the Nets will hopefully have learned their lesson, and no longer tie their horses to superstars. I know it’s going to be hard.
If you’re interested in following teams ripe with superstars, here’s a list of organizations that do it well: Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks.
As for me, I welcome this team finally doing what they should have done following their 12-70 debacle in 2009-10: the Oklahoma City model of drafting smartly and developing a young, deep, versatile roster of homegrown superstars and role players. If the Nets finally succumb to this longer-term plan, I am certain the team’s best years are still ahead of them.