Through Flesh and Of Soil
After having spent much of the morning trying to convince people that Shaq-to-Cavs would suck, I've given up and decided to seek refugee in the realm of abstractions. Who among us loves not to spend a good twenty minutes in a crowded coffee shop pondering the nature of time in today's NBA?
I'll keep this brief, but think about it: Only a few years ago, time barely existed in the Association. Market value for players was relative, and set each summer. GM's threw out huge deals, rarely considering how they'd hog-tie the team down the road. Max extensions created the illusion of franchise guys, though it was never quite clear who feted whom. Then came the mini-max, which urged teams to win now, and at the same time, opened the door for players to be free of a huge deal sooner rather than later (who knows, we might yet see that side of the coin). 2010 had everyone thinking about cap space two years down the road. And now, with money dearer than ever, suddenly dumping Brad Miller's contract—which expires in 2010—is worth it just for one year of savings.
No one trend brought about this shift. And who knows if it will continue once 2010 passes, or the economy recovers somewhat. Still, there's no mistaking that time is now urgently, anxiously present, part of the fabric of this league, in a way it hasn't been before. Perhaps it's overcompensation, but how blind, weird, and weightless things were before. I think it's a good thing.
Now talk about rumors.