Sometimes I hate us as much as you hate us. Us, being the Amalgamated Sports Fantasists Of North America.
ESPN’s Chris Haynes, who is good at his job (I need to point that just so you don’t decide otherwise based on this) reported through the ubiquitous “league sources” that the Golden State Warriors COULD create a max salary slot in hopes of acquiring James.
Yes they could. If they’ve decided to destroy themselves on a bar bet.
To do so, of course, they would have to inherit a player on the back end of a glorious career who likes to run things and doesn’t do well with authority (like Dan Gilbert, just to name one), and do so while getting rid of Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and/or Draymond Green and Shaun Livingston, plus house the rest of their roster with minimum salaries, and convince Kevin Durant to take another pay cut. Then they’d have to convince James’ people to take a meeting with them, which would happen because the Warriors have such an exemplary front office and culture.
This, then, is idiocy of the first magnitude, something that Joe Lacob and Bob Myers should consider only if they have conspired to have their brains replaced by turnips. In fact, it sounds like an editor (and/or producer) having an idea that should have died a hideous death somewhere between cerebrum and larynx.
The story, which Haynes makes clear is entirely speculative, merely says it could happen, which is not really a standard as much as it is a drunken fantasy – a closing time drunken fantasy. But the Warriors would have to tear down one of the truly special teams in American sports history while using it as bait to get someone who would radically change that culture.
Haynes covers that with his second paragraph: “There is no indication that Golden State is evaluating such options to acquire the Cleveland Cavaliers star at this time.”
There is no indication of that because the Warriors are not actually a pack of self-destructive morons. They used to be – hell, they used to be the poster for it – but those days are, at least temporarily, over.
Even the act of considering this as something other than an act of insanity would end the franchise as we understand it. The Warriors would consider nearly anything for, say, Anthony Davis, though it is hard to imagine them undercutting Durant to do so. But James is such a radical change from all the things they hold dear – namely, collaboration through minimal agenda-mongering – that even holding such a meeting would serve as sufficient damage.
It isn’t that James shouldn’t be coveted, even by the Warriors. But coveting also takes place in the mind, which is where such a notion would surely stop. The Warriors truly are the one team that could not use James and all that having him entails. They are making their stand with the best amalgamation of talent since the ‘80s Celtics and Lakers, and by all accounts they have resisted the lure of the pecking order. That would all die in one fell swoop.
And if so, the Warriors would stop being worth its army of acolytes caring about. Having LeBron James would be about acquisition for acquisition’s sake, and while it makes for fun speculation at 1:30 a.m. between beers 13 and 14, it is also why we hate us.
And why we are right to do so.
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