I like Devin Harris. He is a nice guy. He is a fun guy. He is a very good basketball player. I was sorry to see him leave Dallas. He should have a great career ahead of him barring injuries. I like Jason Kidd. He is a great basketball player. I am glad to have him in Dallas. I am also amused when I see all of the mainstream media and blogs opining on the value of the Harris-Kidd trade. The word of the moment to describe the trade seems to be “fleeced“. Chants of “Thank You Cuban!” reverberate throughout Izod Center.
I do not claim to be a “basketball guru”. Maybe I am a basketball idiot. In the end I am just a fan like anyone else but I can not figure it out. Someone please explain it to me. How did the Dallas Mavericks get fleeced? They were fleeced because Devin is putting up good numbers for the Nets? They were fleeced because every one is crowning Devin the next Jason Kidd or Steve Nash? They were fleeced because someone out there unbeknown to the world is blessed with the ability to predict alternate realities has predicted an NBA championship for the Mavs this year had we kept Devin? That’s what it is about is it not? While it was not a trade, I remember the same type of media and blogosphere bashing when Steve Nash left for the Phoenix Suns. If we use the same “fleece logic” being used with regards to Devin, one could argue that the Phoenix Suns underwent a huge “fleecing” not by the Mavs but by Steve’s agent. They paid a ton for Steve and have nary an NBA championship to show for it. If that’s what it’s all about.
Let’s talk hard court facts. We can start by agreeing that what matters in the end for a NBA team is holding the championship trophy when the the clock reads zero in the last game played. Everything else is conversation for the pundits, gamblers and fantasy leagues. Steve Nash has had a Hall Of Fame career. We can agree he is still playing at a very high level in a very different system than he played in for the Mavs. Jason Kidd has had a Hall Of Fame career. We can agree he is still playing at a very high level in a very different system than he played in for the New Jersey Nets. Systems designed around different players and different chemistry. The formula for an NBA championship is not cookie cutter. You do not have to be smarter than a 5th grader to figure out that its a damn hard equation to master with more talent integration variables than a Rubik’s Cube. Devin Harris is having a good season so far. He is putting up good numbers in a different system than he played in for the Mavs. So who is right for what system? Which great player gives their team the best chance to hold that trophy and at what point during their tenure there? It is much more difficult to assemble than a simple prediction of statistical greatness. The last time I checked, Phoenix Suns have not held up a championship trophy during the Steve Nash era. They have not even made it to the finals. During the Jason Kidd era, the New Jersey Nets made it to the finals in 2002 and 2003. If we are going to talk about degrees of success as meaning anything the Mavs have come closer post Steve Nash than the Suns ever did with him. Jason Kidd is a great player. He has had at great career. He put up great numbers in the Nets system. Last I looked the Nets had not held that trophy either during his stay there. Does that mean the Nets got “fleeced”?
In the end only one NBA team out of 30 calls themselves champs in June. I guess everyone else got “fleeced”.