NBA 2011: Definite Signs That Chris Paul Will Become a New York Knick
It didn't start with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joining Paul Pierce in Boston. Nor did it start with Pau Gasol joining Kobe Bryant in LA. Stars and perennial all-stars have been joining teams with established stars in hopes of bettering their chances to win an NBA title for years.
It didn't start with anyone in today's NBA, nor will it end with them. Be it through free agency or by indirectly forcing a trade by not signing a contract extension, this is not a new practice.
Because this is not a new trend in the NBA, the backlash and criticism LeBron faced by joining the Heat was quite baffling.
Many people responded to their coming out "party" where they announced how many rings they will win. But once that died down, the critics remained and continued to pounce on the Heat with every mistake they made.
Ironically, many of those critics had their own chapter to this ongoing saga. Charles Barkley was one of the biggest critics of LeBron and the Heat when he did the same thing in pursuit of the elusive NBA championship ring.
As a matter of fact, he did it twice, first leaving the Sixers to join the Suns and fellow All-Stars Kevin Johnson, Tom Chambers and Dan Majerle.
After he was unsuccessful in winning a ring in Phoenix because of Jordan's Bulls, he later joined Clyde Drexler and an aging Akeem Olajuwon in Houston. Again he was unsuccessful. He was later joined by Scottie Pippen. A last failed attempt.
The latest installation to the book of "NBA Star-Clusters" will be by Chris Paul and his departure to the Knicks. He hasn't signed a contract yet, but if you've been paying attention, he's already told us where he's going.
The Toast Heard 'Round the World
In the summer of 2010, the sports world was abuzz. News had spread fast. It was a star-studded audience with everyone in attendance from movie producers like Spike Lee to reality TV / self-made celebrities like Kim Kardashian,as well as fellow NBA stars to witness this headlining affair.
It was so big, even the bride and groom took time to listen. As soon as it happened, millions of Twitter participants sprang to their phones and computers so fast, reportedly 2000 people pulled muscles in their index fingers, simultaneously.
The event? Chris Paul included in his wedding toast a line about he and Carmelo joining Amare Stoudamire in New York. On a side note, Carmelo Anthony and MTV VJ Lala Vasquez got married.
Chris Paul, the Fortune Teller
Adding another chapter to the NBA astrology book of Star-Clusters, Carmelo Anthony indirectly forces a trade by not signing a contract extension.
Denver, like the rest of the basketball world, had just witnessed in the summer of 2010 the Cavaliers lose LeBron James to free agency and get absolutely nothing in return for their franchise player.
They were heading for the same fate when Melo decided not to sign the extension and hold the Nuggets hostage until the free agency season began.
The Nuggets were more proactive than Cleveland Cavalier Owner Dan Gilbert. Instead of regretting a long season of courting someone who already has his mind set on leaving, it;s better to trade him before the trade deadline and at least have a team that can still compete. They did just that and may have formed a better team for their future.
Who got the better end of the deal is irrelevant. The trade happened, just the way Carmelo wanted, and just the way Chris Paul said in his toast. Inception? Maybe.
Just Listen. He's Told Us over and Over; "I'm Going to New York"
When a player is rumored to want to be traded but doesn't want to seem like the bad guy, there are words and phrases he uses that really scream, "If you don't trade me, I'm leaving when my contract is done!"
Most notably, Paul was quoted by NBA analyst Chris Broussard as saying, "I want to remain here in New Orleans, but I want to make sure that we're committed to winning and getting better....if we're not, then I'd welcome a trade."
Really? Has there ever been an NBA team to announce that they weren't committed to winning? Or that they really didn't want to get better?
What CP3 has done is laid the groundwork for his departure. If he does leave due to free agency, his excuse is already said. He knows the current roster isn't good enough to compete for a title and probably will not make the playoffs. So, in turn, he can reply that they weren't committed "enough for him to stay."
He will also say things like, "I just want to have a legitimate chance to win a title, and going to New York gives me that chance," which is a true statement, except for one fact. As long as LeBron and D-Wade are in Miami and neither one is injured during the playoffs, it probably won't happen.
The Knicks most likely will become the young Bulls of the 80s who repeatedly lost to the Pistons in the playoffs. The only difference there is, the Knicks won't have a maturing Michael Jordan to get them over the hump.
The Jumpman23 Campaign Has Already Begun: D-Wade vs Melo & CP3
How loud do they have to scream it for you to hear it? The Jumpman23 shoe company, a subsidiary of the Jordan Brand, has a new commercial that has started the subliminal campaign already: D-Wade and his Heat vs. Carmelo, Chris Paul and the Knicks, all sponsored by the Jumpman23 brand and each with their own signature shoe.
The latest commercial called, "Jordan: Love the Game", features each of the trio, individually, playing at different places around the world. They appear at community games, recreation center games, high school basketball camps, Jewish basketball leagues and even a women's basketball league.
This all culminates with the trio appearing together in Japan, the brand's largest selling market, playing in a game. Carmelo and Chris Paul are on the same team, then Dwayne Wade shows up, on the opposite team: a sign of things to come.
For many years, players have known how to manipulate their current teams to force a trade and get them to the destination of their choice. Next season, whenever that is, will be no different.
The Knicks were almost gutted in the trade with the Nuggets to get Carmelo Anthony, so their will undoubtedly be a third or fourth team involved. Any team he is traded to will no doubt have to get a guarantee that he will sign an extension with them.
If that team isn't the Knicks, that guarantee won't be coming. Other wise, Paul will leave after the season, and the Hornets will be left scratching their heads.
Hornets beware, either follow the footsteps of the Nuggets and get what you can to help fill the void of CP3 leaving, or get Dan Gilbert's phone number, find a Redbox and prepare to join his pity party and share "I hate him" stories.