According to ESPN, THE BIGGEST TRADE IN NBA HISTORY just went down. Though from where I'm sitting, all it looks like is the Heat fucking themselves and a bunch of people I remember from drafts past getting shifted around.
In the NBA as I know it, Shaq and Wade exist on a different wavelength than Toine and White Chocolate; that's the only way I can justify being a fan of the latter two, when by any remotely competitive, HOC standards, they're both clowns. You can skewer me all you want for worshipping an off-kilter talent like Arenas, but even I know that, at best, Williams and Walker are pure personality.
There are two kinds (maybe "poles" instead) of NBA player identity: those that you could imagine either settling into a team situation like the Spurs, Pistons or last year's Suns, or taking on the truly heroic individualism that Iverson and LeBron each do in their own way (not Kobe, not T-Mac) and those that could never, under any circumstances, do either. I don't know much about how to contend (frankly, it doesn't interest me all that much), but it can't be smart to put this past season's patron saints of basketball greatness out on the floor with two of the leading ambassadors from THAT Association. The league of Ricky Davis, Baron Davis, the Knicks, Corey Maggette, Larry Hughes, Ben Gordon, pro Melo. . . you know, the itch that gets a blog like this going in the first place. Certainly, we do not rise in the morn to earnestly debate and praise accomplishment in motion.
I know I've christened 2005-2006 the year of the Big Redemption, but these things should be a last resort for players and team. It's like a father throwing his own daughter down a well, then rescuing her, then living off of the "my story" money.
The Heat had better hope she's got plenty to drink. Though if there's too much to drink down there—that is, if Miami is all too comfortable with the "difficult" players they've acquired and think they're above those kind of problems—the whole thing will backfire from the beginning. At very least, they need to admit, from the drop, that they're going out on a limb.