10 Dumbest Decisions of the Long NBA Offseason
The NBA's extended offseason may have increased anticipation with regards to the actual season, but it also provided extra time for the league and its players to engage in unwise acts of decision-making.
While the lockout itself is deemed nonsensical by many, the fact is that the premise of its existence holds much more validity than events that transpired either as a result of its livelihood or after.
Even amidst the work stoppage, there was no shortage of topics to discuss, as numerous reports surfaced regarding those who are supposed to represent the league in a tasteful and distinguished manner. Although the lockout is over, the NBA is still feeling its effects, as not only has it postponed the start of the regular season, but it also increased the opportunity for mayhem to run rampant.
Thanks to the actions of a few, it has become abundantly clear that an extended offseason is never a good thing.
Kendrick Perkins, Michael Beasley Arrested
Kendrick Perkins' and Michael Beasley's first official offseason with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves, respectively, didn't get off to the kind of start either organization would have hoped for.
At the end of June, Beasley was arrested in Minnesota for speeding and marijuana possession. He was pulled over for doing 84 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone, and police then found 16.2 grams of marijuana in his vehicle. Both charges were misdemeanors and resulted in only fines but cost Beasley much more in public relations points.
Perkins was arrested on August 13 in Texas for public intoxication outside a night club. Police said that the center was yelling obscenities and attempting to fight the club's manager. Like Beasley, Perkins' offense is a mild infraction.
While both players would have still had the opportunity to break the law over a regular-length offseason, their incidents are prime examples of what can happen to players when they have too much time on their hands.
Bryant Gumbel on David Stern
David Stern has not exactly been a staple of appropriateness as of late, but Bryant Gumbel's comments on the not-so-heralded commissioner were uncalled for, to say the least.
Stern is no longer a popular NBA figure, and he played a large role in the near demise of this season, but to dance around the issue of slavery is ridiculous. At hardly any point did cooler heads prevail throughout the course of the lockout, and Gumbel's comments are no exception.
A retraction is simply not enough, as you know the premise of his argument was completely unwarranted when Magic Johnson backs up the commissioner.
Without an extended offseason to give Gumbel the opportunity to make such comments, this would have never happened.
Ron Artest Changes Name to Metta World Peace
Ron Artest officially became Metta World Peace in mid-September, citing personal reasons behind his motivation to do so.
This is not the first time we have seen a professional athlete make an unconventional name change—see the Chad Ochocinco debacle—but that doesn't make this one any less insane.
If not anything else, acknowledging World Peace's last name is ironic. At one time, he was the most violent player in the NBA but now is apparently an advocate for peace.
Just the latest twist in an ongoing, somewhat illogical saga.
Kenyon Martin Fires off on Twitter
The ever-volatile Kenyon Martin evidently fired off on Twitter back in October, proclaiming that all "haters should catch full blown Aids and Die," a gory display of ignorance to say the very least.
There were other sentiments among the former that Martin offered up, but they were all horrific. We will never be 100 percent positive—thanks to the modern day art of Twitter-hacking—that was in fact Martin wishing ill will upon his haters, but the mere prospect of him being involved is despicable.
Professional athletes serve as role models to any number of impressionable beings, and for a player to participate in an act so vulgar is more than disappointing.
If Martin had been training with an NBA team in preparation for the season, perhaps he would have been too distracted to engage in such behavior.
Danny Ainge Shopping/Not Shopping Rajon Rondo
When Chris Broussard of ESPN reported that the Boston Celtics had interest in then-New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul, at the expense of Rajon Rondo, much of the basketball world was rendered speechless.
Once it became apparent that moving Paul to Boston was unlikely, Danny Ainge came to the rescue publicly, stating that the team had no intentions of trading Rondo. Soon after, the Celtics continued to remain involved in Paul negotiations.
Paul is now a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Rondo is still with the Celtics. It's one thing to deny shopping a player, but it's another to do so and then have the rumors continue.
Ainge's not-so-savvy grasp on the situation could make for a long season—despite it being condensed—in Boston.
Empty Threats in Lockout Negotiations
With both the players association and the league angling to come out on top in negotiations, both sides enacted negotiating tactics that proved to yield minimal results.
The owners attempted to give the players a "take it or leave it" ultimatum, yet the NBPA wasn't biting. Even after the owners declared they had put their last offer on the table, negotiations still ensued.
On the players' part, they attempted to disband the union and consequently file an antitrust lawsuit against the league. Such a tactic should have been employed in July, not mid-November, if its existence was to have any merit.
Both sides engaged in the art of empty threats and posturing throughout the entire process. The owners may believe that they coerced the players into reopening negotiations and accepting the deal, and the players may believe that their threat of disbandment forced the NBA itself to become more lenient, but the truth is neither side's methodical tactics were exceptional.
If anything, the not-so-subtle approach taken by both parties at one time or another only prolonged the work stoppage. Yes, players were more amenable to compromise, but both sides tried to outmaneuver the other in the press, and it was ineffective, to say the best.
The lockout is finally over, but the negotiating devices the league and players attempted to use to get there are not to thank.
Lakers Trade Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks
After falling out of favor in the Chris Paul sweepstakes, the Los Angeles Lakers dealt the versatile Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for an $8.9 million trade exception and protected first-round draft pick.
While the Lakers had fallen out of favor in the Paul sweepstakes, Dwight Howard's situation is far from resolved, and Los Angeles severely damaged their hopes of acquiring him by dealing Odom.
Is it impossible for the Lakers to land Howard? No, but with Odom's departure, it becomes increasingly likely that they will have to relinquish both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum to land him. Not to mention that his departure also creates a gaping hole in the rotation, as Odom excelled in every facet of the game.
Unless Mitch Kupchak pulls the trigger on a miracle deal, this will remain one of the dumber decisions of the extended offseason.
Aaron Brooks Agrees to Play in China
For the players that headed over to China early, we understand why you are not suiting up for the NBA season yet. Aaron Brooks, you are not one of these players.
While Brooks waited a while before committing to play in China, he should have at least waited until he knew for sure the deadline to start the season by Christmas had passed before making the jump.
Instead, barely a week before a tentative agreement was reached to end the lockout, Brooks agreed to play for four-time defending CBA champion Guangdong. Now, he has to wait until March to return stateside.
If he had only been a little more patient, Brooks would not have made an appearance here.
NBA Vetoes Chris Paul Trade to Lakers
The New Orleans Hornets received far more in return for Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers than they would have from the Lakers, but that doesn't make vetoing the deal that would have landed the point guard in purple and gold acceptable.
Commissioner David Stern caused quite an uproar when the league-owned Hornets nixed a deal to send Paul to the Lakers. New Orleans went on to make an absolute killing in a deal with the Clippers, but the NBA's decision to basically institute a mulligan in the Paul sweepstakes was questionable at best.
Even more questionable is Stern claiming he only had a general idea of the transaction's parameters.
Stern's popularity has been on the wrong side of the hill for quite some time, and this recent turn of events only damages his image further.
Had both deals been on the table at the same time and the Hornets chosen the Clippers' package over the Lakers', few would have opposed the decision. But once again, logic failed to prevail, as this time the league itself reared its power to gain an advantage in negotiations.
Bob Vander Weide Drunk-Dials Dwight Howard?
Bob Vander Weide resigned as CEO of the Orlando Magic after making a 1 a.m. phone call to superstar Dwight Howard.
During that phone call, Vander Weide told Howard the team wanted to hold onto him, prompting the center to believe the now former Magic CEO was intoxicated. Vander Weide responded to such allegations by suggesting that "Dwight thought it was inappropriate to talk business after a couple of glasses of wine."
Vander Weide maintains that he was not intoxicated when he phoned Howard, but does that even matter?
Regardless of whether or not you feel it is inappropriate to talk business after a few drinks, the real problem here lies with the time of the phone call. Perhaps it is OK to discuss business after having had some wine, but is it logical to make such a phone call at one in the morning?
No. Vander Weide's stance on business after alcohol is open for debate, but his timing is not.
You can follow Dan Favale on Twitter here @Dan_Favale.