HOOPSWORLD.COM: The practice of asking for – even demanding – a trade has become so routine, we have come to understand it, even accept it as if it is as much an unavoidable part of professional sports as guaranteed contracts and ankle sprains.
There are times, of course, that it does not take much in the way of mental gymnastics to understand; our ability to suspend disbelief comes in handy when backup point guards are signed to $42 million contracts. But there are occasions when the trade demand does make enough sense for us to nod agreeably, without judgment.
Alonzo Mourning, in the last seasons of a career already extended by a kidney transplant beyond anything that could have been expended, is sent to a team in a long-term rebuilding. He asks to be traded and that basically makes sense for everyone.
Chris Webber, on wobbly knees, sees Allen Iverson leave Philadelphia, figures he should too, and we basically agree.
This does not rise to the only-sports lunacy of a contract buyout. But there perhaps needs to be a sub-category that should.
We have seen a dramatic rise in the superstars, or those paid to be, deciding things are not working out for them and so they should be allowed to move somewhere that will make them happier.
From Kobe Bryant’s radiothon to Andrei Kirilenko’s blog, we have had a weird off-season run of trade demands. With varying degrees of severity, the answer has generally been ‘no.’ But the requests themselves have seemed to become increasingly outrageous.