Dwight Howard and the 9 Most Selfish Trade Demands in NBA History

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2012

Dwight Howard and the 9 Most Selfish Trade Demands in NBA History

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    A trend that's taken off these days that was never much of a huge problem in years past is superstars telling teams before their contract runs out that they want out and want to be traded.

    This is an interesting development, because on the one hand it saves teams from having a situation like Cleveland and Toronto had with LeBron James and Chris Bosh, but on the other hand, it's turning fans against superstars and making those superstars look incredibly selfish.

    Of course, when we tackle this whole problem, you have to determine which school of thought you're in.

    Are you one of those people who think superstars can owe their team something in certain situations, or are you the "basketball is a business" person who thinks everything is fair game, as players have free will?

    I for one do think there are certain situations where a player owes something to the team they're on. Often, a team has built everything around this superstar over the course of multiple seasons, getting to a certain point only to have the superstar run off to another city because it's in a bigger market or it's a tax-free state.

    Sure, I understand the other side of the coin. Players telling their teams beforehand that they're planning on walking away after their contract is up is definitely better than the other option, but in certain cases, the player leaving at all is a shady thing to do.

    They do have free will, but at the same time, the fans have the free will to look at this player and see what he's doing as an act of betrayal.

    So which selfish displays were the most selfish, and on top of that, I'll reason why a few players wanting to leave weren't selfish at all.

    Also, before we get into this just know that my original goal wasn't dumping on Kobe Bryant, but the things he's done in his days haven't been exactly kosher.

Defending Three Guys

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    There are two guys out there who have demanded trades recently that may have looked selfish, but in the long run what they did was totally defensible.

    Chris Paul

    The most recent one of these two has to be Chris Paul.

    Paul signed a three-year extension with the Hornets back in 2009 with the thought in mind that the team would be run to win a title, and it was...for a while.

    Then, back in 2010 when the NBA took over the Hornets, it was impossible for him to think that winning was in the best interests of the team. The only thing going on was the league looking for a new owner with deep pockets that they would approve of.

    After a year of having no new owner, Paul saw the team's front office in shambles and wanted out, something anyone in their right mind would have done.

     

    Kevin Garnett

    Back in 2007 there was never really a final collective opinion whether Kevin Garnett actually demanded a trade or not, but if he did, it would have made sense.

    Garnett had given 12 years of his basketball life, including most of his prime, to this Timberwolves team that made some inept moves and just couldn't surround him with a legitimate team to save their lives (or jobs).

    If he did demand a trade, then there's no hard feelings toward the big man.

     

    Charles Barkley

    Back when the Round Mound was nearing the end of his time in Philly, nobody was happy. The fans were tired of his antics, the coaches were ready to pull their hair out, the front office didn't like his "I'm not a role model" act and Chuck himself was ready to split.

    Basically, they were in a situation that's the exact opposite of what's going on in Phoenix with Steve Nash right now.

    Really, how can you blame a guy for wanting out in a case where everyone involved would be happier if the player was gone?

9. Baron Davis

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    The controversy surrounding Baron Davis' exit from New Orleans ran long and deep, and it all centered around the ego of Davis himself.

    First, Davis was feuding on and off with Head Coach Byron Scott and had requested a trade early in the 2004-2005 season. Aside from that, the Hornets were a group of guys growing into a good team.

    Still, just 18 games into the season, the Hornets traded Baron Davis to the Golden State Warriors.

    What offends me the most about Davis' trade request was the reasoning behind it. New Orleans didn't have any other big names that stuck out, but as a unit, they worked well together. Still, Davis reasoned that it was better for his future to play elsewhere.

    Sure, that's a legitimate concern if he was 33, but Davis was 25 at the time and had years ahead of him left to still win a title.

8. Wilt Chamberlain

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    Wilt Chamberlain had spent his days in the NBA yearning to be legendary, to be great, to be remembered, and he definitely was.

    However, to do so he was traded twice, the second time shipped out of Philadelphia because he wanted to play elsewhere, with other guys.

    So, in 1968, for the price of a ball of twine and some new basketballs, Wilt Chamberlain was donning the purple and gold for the Lakers.

    Wilt was unhappy with the 76ers. That's right, he was unhappy with a team that had just went 62-20, a team that complemented him with Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham and Chet Walker.

    Instead, he wanted to be a part of a Lakers team where he would just be one of the guys, not the guy, as he was playing with Jerry West and Elgin Baylor.

    It's always seemed that Chamberlain left the Sixers for two reasons, to play in LA and to play on a team where he wouldn't have to be the leader on the court. That, to me, just seems selfish.

7. Dwight Howard

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    Dwight Howard's saga in Orlando has gone on long enough at this point, and unfortunately there's no end in sight.

    His trade demand looks selfish not only because of how good the team has been in previous years, but because of the fact that it seems he only wants to go to a place where he will be playing in the brightest limelight possible.

    Sure, Orlando may seem like a big city, but I guess New York, Los Angeles or Chicago would be better for the big man's image.

6. Carmelo Anthony

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    I'll give Carmelo Anthony the slightest of breaks here because he wanted to go back and play closer to home, but the way everything went down with him in Denver was still a disgusting act.

    Carmelo was a part of a team that was totally committed to him, and besides that, wasn't run by inept basketball brains. The team was competing well in the tough Western Conference, even making the Western Conference Finals in 2009.

    Still, it all wasn't enough for Carmelo. He wanted the fame, fortune and the spotlight shined on him on stage in Madison Square Garden.

    Can you blame him for wanting to play for a team from his home? No. But that doesn't mean it's not a selfish move.

5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had a pretty big challenge ahead of him when he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks back in 1969. 

    However, Kareem helped those Bucks (along with Oscar Robertson) win a title two years later. Kareem played with the team until the 1974 season, after which he requested that he be traded to either the Knicks or the Lakers.

    The complaint I have here is that he split on the team after losing in the NBA Finals.

    Sure, he had helped the Bucks win a title a few seasons before, but the fact that he was ready to give up on the team after a failed finals run because he wanted to play in a big city is nothing but selfish.

4. Earl Monroe

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    Earl Monroe, who was a huge part of the 1973 New York Knicks championship team, wasn't originally drafted by that team. Instead, he started his career in Baltimore.

    After just four full seasons with Baltimore, Monroe requested that the Bullets trade him away to the Knicks in the middle of the 1972 campaign. Baltimore decided to let him go and ended up getting 75 cents as change for a dollar in that deal.

    The part that bothers me about the Monroe trade is that it happened just four years into Monroe's career. Beyond that, those Bullets were starting to build a nice little team around Monroe and had even made it to the Finals the year before.

    Monroe bailed on a team that was young and capable of making it back to the finals to go for the glory in New York City, which he got early, winning a title just a year after that trade happened.

3. Hakeem Olajuwon

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    I've always remembered Hakeem Olajuwon as an all-around good dude (probably because of my late start on this planet), but his trade request back in 1992 was pretty selfish.

    Back in the late stages of Jordan's Bulls first three-peat run, the Houston Rockets were a team having difficulties coping with the struggles that come with an emerging basketball team.

    Before the start of the 1993 season, Hakeem's agent demanded a trade and threatened a lawsuit because of a disagreement and a suspension that happened at the end of the previous season.

    Hakeem had suffered a hamstring injury in the spring of 1992 but refused to suit up after team doctors cleared him to play; the team then suspended him.

    Basically, had the Rockets not refused to trade him, Hakeem would have missed out on a chance at back-to-back titles because of a little spat with the front office.

2. Kobe After Shaq Left

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    As the Lakers were moving from one era to another, they traded Shaq and put all of their eggs into the Kobe Bryant basket.

    Now, you can imagine their frustration when Kobe went and requested a trade of his own in 2007 after the team's second straight first-round exit from the playoffs. Kobe was upset with the players around him and the direction of the team, so he wanted out.

    The only problem was that the Lakers had dedicated everything to Bryant, and now he had requested a trade.

    They could have held onto Shaq and rode the rails on the rest of his career, but they decided to keep Kobe, who had not only taken part in driving Shaq out (although it seems to be a 50-50 split on the fault at this point), but driving Phil Jackson out as well.

1. Kobe Bryant over Andrew Bynum

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    One of the most ridiculous stories I can remember in my short time on this planet has to be surrounding Kobe Bryant, Mitch Kupchak and Andrew Bynum.

    Back in 2007, the Lakers were struggling, Kobe had already requested that the team trade him (as we saw in the last slide) and General Manager Mitch Kupchak was in a bind.

    A video had gotten out of Bryant criticizing Kupchak and the team in general, even complaining that the Lakers hadn't traded their young center (some of you may have heard of him), Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd.

    The Lakers eventually held strong and Kobe and Bynum eventually won a few titles together a few years down the line.

    Requesting that a team trade you is bad enough, but requesting that they trade someone else on the team is downright cold-blooded.

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