During the buildup to the NBA trade deadline, we spent a lot of time focused on the personnel side of sports. But sometimes, it's important to remember there is a personal side as well.
Jeremy Lin reminded us of just that on Wednesday night.
On Wednesday, the Houston Rockets traded Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas to the Sacramento Kings for Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt. The team also dealt Marcus Morris to the Phoenix Suns for a second-round pick.
For Lin, it was all a bit hard to grasp (via Dave Zangaro of CSN Houston):
That was just pretty much the worst thing. It sucks because we’re a close-knit team and we actually really, really care about everybody that got shipped off and it was just really emotional for me.
To be honest, I was like "I don’t even want to play. I don’t even want to play tonight." It was really emotional. I wish them the best. It just sucks to see them go and I guess that’s a part of the business but that’s a tough part for me.
It's fun to get excited about trades, but sometimes it's important to consider the human element of these deals. Guys make their homes in these cities. They settle their families there. They pick their favorite restaurants, make friends, choose schools for their children.
And a lot of guys develop strong friendships with their teammates. In a moment, it all can change. That can't be easy to deal with.
Obviously, it's a part of the business, and at some point most players are going to have to make that adjustment, especially in the NBA. Even Lin acknowledged the business side.
But it's refreshing to see Lin so generally upset at his teammates being traded. As a teammate, I would appreciate that loyalty, and I think it bodes well for the Rockets' future that Lin steps up as a leader and establishes real relationships with his teammates.
I'm not trying to blow this out of proportion; I just appreciated the human moment from Lin. It would be easy to analyze these trades from a purely personnel and organizational perspective—in which case you have to say the Rockets' did really well—but as a sports fans, it's nice to get a glimpse behind the curtain now and again.
And honestly, you have to wonder if these trades will hurt the Rockets' playoff push this season. The team is currently holding onto the eighth spot, 3.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers.
It seems the Rockets are just fine with having plenty of cap space this summer. And finding another stud to pair with James Harden would make the Rockets scary.
That's the business, and Lin knows that. He gets it, and this will be the last you hear him commenting on this trade, I'm sure. But it was still nice to see him reveal the personal side of the sport in a month when so many of us only focus on personnel.