This was the worst trade ever. WORST. TRADE. EVER. The Nuggets basically gave Felton away.
Apparently in last night’s abominable draft the Nuggets got caught up in the draft fury and traded Raymond Felton for Andre Miller. That’s right, the Nuggets traded a 26-year-old point guard coming into his own on the heels of a freshly-minted, reasonable $7.5 million a year contract for a 35-year-old who can’t shoot beyond 22 feet who makes more money.
This move makes no sense. None. I wasn’t a huge Felton fan and obviously the Nuggets had to move him, but he was by far our most valuable asset in any trade talks. He’s a 26-year-old point guard coming into his own on the heels of a freshly-minted, reasonable $7.5 million a year contract. Any team dealing with an agitated superstar would look to the Nuggets and Felton would be the number one piece. Why on earth would we trade him for Andre Miller?
There are only two possible explanations for this trade that make sense and neither one actually makes sense.
First, the Nuggets were trying to appease Ty Lawson and show him that he was the point guard of the future and would not have to continue to share the spotlight. Also, the Nuggets really wanted to draft Jordan Hamilton, a forward from Texas, so they needed a chip to move up.
Except that that doesn’t make sense, because we could have held on to Felton until the season started, or at least until a better deal showed up after the CBA was restructured. If a hard cap is put in place for the Association or a lower salary cap, the Nuggets have immeasurably less power in the trade market. Apparently they realized that and knew that they needed to strike while the iron was hot. But why take such a crappy trade while the iron is hot?
Lawson would have known that he was the top dog when Felton was put on the trading block during the season and the media caught wind of it. Problem solved. Also, this Jordan Hamilton kid is never going to see the floor. Even if we lose Nene and KMart, that still leaves Birdman, Melvin Ely, Kosta Koufos, Timofey Mozgov and Al Harrington who are expected to get playing time and can step in.
The other explanation is that the Nuggets are hoping Miller will take a buyout, freeing up contract space for the next two seasons. This too makes no sense, because the Nuggets already have $25 million in cap space. Who do they think they’re going to sign, Kobe? Do they think LeBron’s going to leave South Beach to come to Denver? Are we trying to get ‘Melo back? Who do they think they’re going to get?
You only clear cap space so you can sign players. What’s the point of cap space for the sake of cap space? The only thing I can think of is that the management is trying to run the team on bare bones and keep the extra salary cap cash for themselves. They figure the team as assembled (minus Miller) can compete for 45-52 wins and if fans get that they won’t be too mad when the higer-ups start dipping into salary cap funds.
I know that sounds sinister, but it’s the only thing that makes any plausible sense. Why else would they trade the guy who is the key to any and all big name free agent scenarios? They can’t seriously think a trade involving Wilson Chandler as the headliner has ANY shot of being approved.
That’s what was so infuriating about this trade. It makes no sense for the Nuggets on paper (I’m sure when the Blazers got the call - Miller for Felton - they thought the Nuggets had to be joking). If you were playing NBA 2k11 as the Blazers and offered this trade to the CPU Nuggets, there is NO way they’d accept. No way. Shouldn’t that be our metric for how good an NBA trade is? Hell, I once traded Melo and Chauncey Billups for Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza, a first round pick and Emeka Okafor.
Even worse than how the trade looks on paper is how it decimates any trade potential the Nuggets had. With Felton, the Nuggets were the key partner or third party to any NBA trade that went down next season. Any team with a disgruntled superstar was absolutely making their first call to the Nuggets and Felton was absolutely a requisite part of the deal. They have no one else anyone would want. With KMart’s contract coming off the books, they don’t even have another trade piece to entice a team into trading its superstar. This trade is absolutely baffling.
It goes beyond stupid. It’s plain irresponsible. These are the same guys who made such a great deal in the Carmelo trade. They got two potential replacements for Melo (Chandler and Danilo Gallinari), got rid of Sheldon Williams AND Ronaldo Balkman, freed up $25 million in cap space and got the single best 2012 trade chip on the market - Felton. Now they’ve just thrown that chip away.
I don’t think there’s even a metric for how much less valuable than Raymond Felton Andre Miller is. He’s a worse player, he’s older, he makes more money and he’s coming from his fourth or fifth NBA team. This is inexcusable. It’s 10 times worse than the contract extension they gave George Karl.
Even worse, we’re about to clear another $20 million in cap space when JR Smith and KMart’s contracts come off the books, so we didn’t even need the money. There was literally no reason to make this trade. None.
For me, if you’re a famous National Football League player, or a famous athlete of any sort, you’ve earned the right to put in your two cents. What a lot of people don’t understand is that when an athlete or celebrity takes a stand on an issue it’s usually because they were asked about it by a reporter. Rarely do players take to the soap box on an issue – Tyree is the exception here. They get asked a question, answer truthfully, and then their statement is plastered all over the internet. If you’re famous enough to get asked, I think you’re famous enough to speak on an issue.
Having said all that, it’s a tragedy and a shame that no one in the NFL thought to speak out on behalf of unions during the unrest in Wisconsin and Ohio where the governors tried to deny workers collective bargaining rights through a state law. Troy Polamalu said something interesting in an interview and no one picked it up.
“A lot of people think that it’s millionaires versus billionaires, you know, and that’s the huge argument. But in fact, it’s people fighting against big business,” Polamalu said. “The big business argument is about ‘I’ve got the money and I got the power, therefore I can tell you what to do.’ That’s a lie everywhere. And I think this is a time where the football players are standing up and saying, ‘No, no, no, people have the power.’”
This couldn’t be more true. Right now these football players are fighting back against an oppressive management regime that wants to deny them the pay they’re due, is providing inadequate health care and wants them to work another two weeks for free. How are they fighting against these maniacal, bottom-line driven dictators? Their union!
How much more powerful would it have been to have Adrian Peterson or Jared Allen do a spot for unions in Minnesota? These guys have to realize the value of unions, I mean, they’re all in one. And without that union, the owners would have just pushed the 18-game schedule down their throats, made the rule changes they wanted, ignored the serious concerns of the retired players and moved on. Instead, the players are sitting at the bargaining table making their argument.
I continue to be baffled that being anti-union is an acceptable political position to have in this country. The far right used to say that unions were too powerful and their political donations to exclusively Democratic candidates were a mockery of what unions were all about. That was all fine and good. But to be anti-union is flat out un-American. The argument has been made by just about every liberal with a voicebox and an audience, so I won’t bother making it here, but it’s so unquestionably true I don’t understand how anyone can disagree.
If more people like Polamalu had spoken out on behalf of unions everywhere that would have made a very powerful statement. We’ve seen from the gay marriage debate happening right now in New York that NFL players aren’t afraid to dip their toes in the waters of politics. In addition to Tyree’s stumping for the National Organization for Marriage, Steve Nash, New York Ranger Sean Avery and Tyree’s former teammate on the New York Giants, Michael Strahan, have come out in support of same sex marriage in a commercial. I’m assuming none of these players are gay. Couldn’t they – or any number of others – have come to the defense of a force that they, themselves, have relied on for decades?
There was a SlutWalk recently. They’ve been happening everywhere. One happened in LA on June 4 with little to no fanfare (a Youtube search returned no major media outlet coverage and only a handful of results, none with more than 10,000 views). Recently even NPR did a piece on them. It’s continuing to make its mark around the country and gaining steam. If you want more information on what it is, go here.
I will give the SlutWalk crowd this: Ladies you should absolutely be able to dress like a slut in public, at parties, in social situations and anywhere else and not have to worry about being raped. (NOTE: I’m using the reclaimed and empowering meaning of the word “slut,” not the derogatory and degrading version. For simplicity’s sake let’s just say that you and I agree that a “slut” is a woman who embraces sexuality and dresses however she pleases no matter what society’s patrician and patriarchal norms demand, and not a grown-up little girl with low self esteem and daddy issues who needs to be validated by men staring at her chest. Agreed? Good.
I think the fear of rape exists much more strongly than actual rape experiences and statistics should permit, but that’s another story for another post. I’m cracking 1,400 words with this one as is and I know what short attention spans people have, so I’ll get to it.)
My problem with this little show of defiance and the cavalcade of female chest thumping that has come along with the Weiner controversy, the Governator’s bastard son and the French dignitary’s rape scandal, is just how far women think they still have to go. What country do they think we’re living in and what year do they think it is?
The first thing I noticed was an article by Marlo Thomas called “Men Behaving Badly…it’s a Good Thing.” I’m going to ignore the fact that Thomas is obviously not a source to be taken seriously in the world of journalistic feminism and focus on the fact that she seems to represent a growing audience of women who agree with her thesis. Basically, Thomas was saying it was great that when the men behaved badly, the women involved – Weiner’s Blackjack dealer and porn star; Ahnuld’s poor, deceived wife; Strauss-Kahn’s chamber maid; and Elizabeth Edwards – fought back with the help of other women to expose and justly nail these pervy perps.
My problem with the article isn’t how poorly written it was – and it was atrocious, but Marlo’s an actress not a journalist, so I’ll forgive – but that I don’t know what she expected to happen.
Am I really that blindly optimistic to believe we live in a 21st century where women are expected to report being raped? That when a man has a secret love child with the housekeeper, his wife is expected to unceremoniously dismiss him? Talk all you want about Bill and Hillary, but there are three very distinct differences – 1) Maria Shriver is no one’s Hillary Clinton and staying with Bill was at least partially a political move 2) Monica may have been an intern, but she was not the housekeeper and Bill was not hiding a child 3) The media coverage today is so much more intense. The combination of more media, omnipresent coverage and the onslaught of opinion from everywhere – Twitter, Facebook, the blogosphere – is exponentially greater than it was in 1998. Bill would surely have resigned if his scandal happened today and Hillary would have been judged more harshly by more people for whatever decision she made.
(SIDE NOTE: Interesting that Maria left Arnold after he was politically impotent and knew he could never seek a higher office and even if he wanted to, had no chance of getting back into politics. I mean, the kid is an adolescent at this point. And at no time while the two were living in the governor’s mansion together with that same housekeeper did Maria think, ‘That kid looks a lot like my husband and I know what a philandering dirt bag he is’? Really? She just now put the pieces together? Believe that one if you want to.
SIDE NOTE TWO: There was also a fabulously man-bashing piece by my favorite published misandrist MoDo aka Maureen Dowd in the NY Times recently. I found it interesting that both Thomas and Dowd were so flagrantly classist – perhaps also classless – in their pretenses about “marrying up” and “dating down.” It’s always jarring how alarmingly condescending intellectual feminists can be. I like Maureen as much as the next guy. I think she’s funny and very clever, but don’t try to tell me she isn’t as true a misandrist as we have in this culture. The woman wrote a book called, “Are Men Necessary?” But more to the point, doesn’t it do the entire movement a disservice when working and middle class women are dismissed as “down” because they aren’t a part of the wealthy, insider elite?)
But I digress, why are these achievements worth celebrating? Accordingly, why do we need to have a slut walk to let women know that dressing a certain way does not mean that a man is justified in raping them? Yes, some hick in Toronto said women should “avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized.” But haven’t there always been idiots who say stupid things?
Rather than organizing another walk to have the same hackneyed argument about whether or not women deserve to be raped because of what they wear, this could have been a chance to impart some basic information that rape counselors, psychologists and anyone familiar with rape statistics already knows.
The whole exercise only reinforces the long-refuted myth that women are targeted for rape by some mysterious, testosterone-crazed maniac lurking in the shadows because of the way they’re dressed. The truth is that most women are raped by someone they already know – more than 3/4 of rape victims. Most rapes are also premeditated, meaning that what the woman was wearing that night had no bearing on the act itself.
What I worry about with this SlutWalk is the slippery slope argument that I generally find so nauseating. I think a clear distinction needs to be drawn between wearing what you want in a personal setting and doing so in a professional setting. I can already see troves of women filing lawsuits because their see-through white blouse was unacceptable to the “chauvinist assholes” otherwise known as her employers. I can’t wait to see third-wave feminism rear its ugly head again. But that’s also another post for another day.
Granted, women are still suffering with the pain and stigma of rape alone instead of reaching out for help. One of the women quoted in the NPR story on the SlutWalk in Seattle perfectly illustrated the problem that still exists.
"I had recently lost some weight,” said Jessi Murray, one of the Seattle SlutWalk organizers. “I wasn’t used to the idea of guys being into me. And it happened that I was assaulted that night. And I ended up blaming myself and I thought, ‘I must be a slut.’”
“That night” referred to her visit as an 18-year-old to MIT where she’d recently been accepted.
FTA: “Murray says this march was for women like her, who were shamed into feeling responsible for their own abuse. She says it’s about reclaiming the word ‘slut.’”
Murray’s story isn’t an unfamiliar one, but is it one that the SlutWalk is going to help avert? No. It’s just the same response to the same stupid premise that stupid people with stupid ideas have been pushing for years. Seeing scantily-clad women walking down the street shouting “No means no” doesn’t change anything about the dialogue.
We’ve seen this movie.
If it didn’t help in 1969, why would it help in 2011? And if it did help in 1969, why are we circling back?
I’m not a woman, and I can’t pretend I even have a clue what it’s like to be one. But as a member of a group that has had to fight for equal rights in this country and continues to do so, I have always empathized with the struggle. I know that we’re not in the mythical land of there yet, but I thought we were at least further along. By applauding what should be commonplace and responding to what should be plainly absurd, doesn’t all of this become one giant step backwards?
Anthony Weiner’s political career should be over. It’s a simple formula, when you have already overcome the hamstringing effect that having the last name Weiner carries, you ought to be smart enough to not send pictures of it via Twitter. I mean, come on!
Your last name is Weiner. It’s too easy. As a politician, you have to realize that if these pictures were ever to become public you would be the laughingstock of the country. Not only are you a laughingstock because of the fact that you’re sending pictures of your wiener to young women who are not your wife, but because your last name is Weiner. I mean, come on!
Such abject stupidity and inability to control your hormones should automatically disqualify any previously respected individual from office. I just cannot understand how anyone could be so stupid. Your last name is Weiner! I mean, come on!
I don’t think Weiner should step down because he was unfaithful to his wife. Clearly monogamy is a ridiculous facade that even the most scrupulous among us can’t adhere to. It does, however, beg the question, is Twexting cheating? SIDE NOTE: I’m copyrighting the word Twexting.
It also begs another question, why do people think they’re not going to get caught? I’ve never sent a girl a picture of my penis. You know why? Because she could use it to humiliate me publicly. And I’m not even famous. Nor is my job wholly dependent on people’s belief in my integrity. Still, I know not to send out pictures of my junk. Anything you put on the internet can and probably will become public information. Why do people continue to ignore that fact of life?
Certainly politics are about representing your constituents and having great ideas and being able to govern. But if I’m voting for a politician, it’s important to me that he not be an idiot so motivated by the demands of his libido that he’s willing to risk overwhelming national embarrassment on its behalf.
Also, given that this little error happened almost right on the heels of the new Twitter photo sharing service, shouldn’t the website’s owners really start looking at how to clearly differentiate between sending a DiM and sending out a public tweet? This little snafu has already happened to Bill Simmons, Ray Allen and now Weiner, that I’m aware of.
As far as Republican Chris Lee who got caught sending shirtless pictures of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist, I think the reason he stepped down was not because of the pictures that came out, but because he knew the other shoe was about to drop. The other shoe being that he was also picking up transvestites on Craigslist.
In my opinion, this isn’t a matter of morality, it’s a matter of intelligence. Stupid people or people that easily influenced to do stupid things should not be among our elected officials. Period. Regardless of race, sex or religion.
1. You probably suck. I don’t know you, I’m just playing the percentages on this one. I’ve met a lot of women in my life, I would venture to say more than the average man, and I’ve learned a few things. Namely, that most women aren’t worth the time, energy or money a date would entail. Most of you are insipid, whiny, obnoxious, self-absorbed to an almost unfathomable level and really have nothing interesting to say. Admittedly, this is a generalization.
2. I’m not buying you dinner. It’s patently absurd that in the year 2011 I am expected to pay for the date because I’m male. It’s just stupid. In an age where women surpass men in the number of college degrees, college enrollment and post-graduate degrees? In an age where women equal and in some places outnumber men in the workplace? I’m supposed to pay for the meal. Why?
And don’t even give me that chivalry nonsense or some garbage about tradition. I’ll make a deal with you, I’ll pay for your meal under five conditions. You know, because it’s tradition. 1) I get to ask your father whether I can date you – you aren’t consulted, he’ll just tell you where and when. 2) During the date, I decide what you will eat and drink, you don’t get to speak to the waiter at all, for any reason. 3) You wear a corset. 4) If you go to the bathroom, you ask to be excused – not excuse yourself – to go powder your nose or go to the powder room. 5) You say “thank you” for the meal after we’re done, whether we like each other or not.
If these conditions seem a bit outdated, it’s because they are. Just like the idea that the man is supposed to pay for the meal. It’s stupid and arcane. The reason men paid for dates “traditionally” was because women didn’t have jobs and lived at home with their parents. It’s 2011, you don’t live with your parents and you have a job, pay for your own damn food.
3. You’re probably not going to have sex with me. Let’s be honest, the main reason most men go on dates is in hope they’ll get lucky. There’s a reason it’s called getting lucky. Dating to me is like a bad combination of roulette and prostitution. It’s like you give the prostitute the money in the form of dinners and drinks and you hope that her internal wheel is dialed to sex. If you do everything right and she’s “that kind of girl” you might get lucky. Maybe. And that’s after you spend $20 - $100. More than likely, you’ll have to take her on at least three dates, which comes to $60 - $300 in order to “get lucky.” And who knows if the sex will even be any good or what she’ll look like under the make-up, padded bra, and million assorted other accessories women use to make themselves look like a different person.
4. It’s probably not going anywhere. Even if I do spend enough money to have sex with you, that’s probably as far as it’ll go. Again, I’m just playing the percentages here. How many people in happy, successful relationships do you know whose relationship started when he took her on a date? I don’t know any. Relationships don’t start from dates, they start somewhere else (friendship, dating websites, college) and then eventually after the relationship is already blossoming a date will happen. Not before. Ask your friends in relationships if a date is how their relationship got started. Ask all of them. I think you’ll notice a disturbing trend. No, dating is just the cause of fleeting hope. “Oh, I had such a good date,” quickly turns to disappointment, never a long-term meaningful relationship.
5. You’re just going to lie to me. Dates are a forum for deceit. The entire premise of dating is that you get dressed up to impress the other person by showing only certain parts of yourself. The entire practice is predicated on lying. That’s why there are so many dating advice books out there. Ladies: don’t talk too much, don’t eat too much food, don’t take food to go on dates one – four, wear something sexy but not slutty, don’t mention old boyfriends, don’t drink too much, don’t wear the wrong shade of lipstick. Guys: Don’t go somewhere cheap, make sure to give the server a big tip, don’t wear too much cologne, don’t talk about yourself. Dating is probably the single biggest albatross to actually getting to know somebody there is on planet earth.
6. Why deal with the drama? What should I wear? Where should we go? Should I pick her up or meet her? Will she like the place? What should I order? Is it gay if I order a salad? What if I spill something on myself? Should I order an appetizer? Do I look cheap if I order an appetizer as my meal?
7. I could have just as much fun for free or spend that time with people I already know and like. I have never, ever, ever heard of a date that couldn’t have been replicated exactly as stated without having dinner or going to a movie. SIDE NOTE: Is going to a movie not the single stupidest premise for a date ever? Yeah, let’s spend $25 so we can sit for two hours in a dark theater not talking to each other. I don’t see how the entire experience couldn’t be replicated by her coming to my house to watch HBO. I really don’t. There is also only so much free time a person has to devote to social endeavors. Why waste it spending money on a stranger?
8. Most dates are bad. How many good date stories have you heard from your friends? How many bad date stories? Exactly. As a man with Mr. Burns mentality (playing the percentages), I see no point in doing something that anecdotally and, I’m guessing, statistically speaking will not be enjoyable.
9. I don’t need to go on a date to get laid. If dating were the only way to have sex, I would probably give it a shot, but it isn’t. It’s the 21st century and women give it up a lot easier these days. Most times I don’t even need to go out on a free date to have sex. It’s a matter of a chance encounter and maybe a few phone calls. I’m not going to be like every other guy and pretend this is a bad thing. This is a great thing. Just because you don’t have casual sex doesn’t mean your friend doesn’t and I can just talk to her. Also, let’s be honest, you’ve had casual sex. There’s no point in lying to me, it’s not like we’re on a date.
10. The best I can hope for is…another date? Because most dates aren’t going to end in sexual intercourse, you’ve got to really consider what your endgame is here. It’s not to “get to know someone” and anyone that tells you it is is either a pathological liar or a hopeless idealist who has yet to meet the real world. A date for women is a way to qualify men to see if the man is worthy of meeting their friends and family down the road. A date for a man is a way to see if they can get laid or find a girl who is willing to be their girlfriend so eventually they can have sex regularly. So, I get dressed up, figure out a place to go, pay for the meal, go through all awkward uncertainty and finish it flawlessly and my reward is that I get to do it again? Yeah, that sounds like a fantastic system.