Aren't mothers awesome?
They usually think the best of their children, wanting to make them as happy and successful as possible. Luol Deng might be a basketball star for the Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers, but his mom is no different.
Except in this case, it led to some serious confusion.
Luol Deng said hardest part of trade was explaining it to his mom. She couldn't understand why Bulls didn't want him anymore— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) January 8, 2014
After his first practice with the Cavs—following the trade that swapped him for Andrew Bynum (who was subsequently waived) and future draft picks—Deng spoke to the Akron Beacon Journal's Marla Ridenour about the confusion of his mother, Martha Deng:
My mom doesn’t really understand being traded. To me that was one of the hardest things I had to do, explain to her the organization I’ve been with for nine years no longer wanted me there. She couldn’t understand why. She feels like I’m a nice guy, I get along with everybody … She was asking me, ‘Are you not playing well? What’s going on?’
Luol, one of Martha's nine children, had to pack up in front of his mother, who was staying with him during an extended holiday-season vacation to the Windy City. "The timing was just bad," Deng told Ridenour. "If she was back in London, I think it would have been really easy for me to get on the phone and tell her I’m moving to Cleveland.”
Fortunately, he'll have a chance to prove his value in a new uniform.
The Bulls didn't trade Deng out of disloyalty or because he was playing poorly. In fact, he's having one of the best seasons of his career.
He hadn't upset or frustrated the organization; he'd simply failed to come to terms with them on a contract extension, and general manager Gar Forman wanted to free up some financial flexibility before he hit free agency and walked away for nothing.
As Jeff Zillgitt wrote for USA Today, "This is about the future for the Bulls, who also landed three future draft picks in the deal and one of them could be a first-rounder. With money to spend in 2014, the Bulls will be in the market for a prominent power forward."
Deng might have tried explaining that to his mother, but that's not all he can do.
Steering Cleveland into the postseason for the first time since LeBron James left for the Miami Heat would do the trick. She'd surely be proud of him then.