There’s something to be said about the solitude of shoveling the driveway after, or sometimes during, a snowstorm. It gives a person clarity, time to think about what’s been on their mind but unable to come out through the noise of everyday life.
In essence, I took that clarity this week and wrote today’s post while pushing 8 inches of snow and sleet from one side of Vermont to the other. Enough can’t be said about thinking of the fruits of one man’s labors while reaping your own.
So there I am, and for some reason or another I can’t remember, I was thinking about all of the discussion surrounding the on-again, off-again Carmelo Anthony trade talks. You know the ones, where Anthony is supposedly going to New Jersey, but has his entourage dropping hints to the media about his desire to only play in New York so that he doesn’t have to man up and make a selfish fool out of himself like LeBron did.
And that’s exactly my take on it. Sure, Carmelo may not be saying much to the media, but its all an image protection ploy. In reality, Anthony is playing the part of Pinocchio, who should be going to school like he agreed to but instead is looking to take the quick ride out of town to Pleasure Island where life will be so much “easier”. Well Carmelo, Pinocchio turned into an ass at the end of that segment and you’re likely to come out of this in the same light.
Truth be told I can’t remember a time in my life where I’ve had to endure so many stories of unhappy athletes forcing trades or gearing up for free agency two years ahead of time. I know we live in a new world of constant updates, both in the traditional media and in the instant media that Twitter has become, so maybe it is just a product of our generation where these guys just have more avenues to express their grievances. Then again, maybe it is a product of the generation these guys grew up in, where they no longer aspire to follow in the footsteps of their favorite players growing up, just to out earn them during their careers.
Regardless of what has changed over time, one thing is still a staple of all sports; The Contract. Each and every athlete signs one, whether it be on draft day or while peddling themselves to the team with the most magic beans. My irritation is simply with the fact that no one honors them any more. They wanted the long-term stability by signing a big deal, but for some reason they feel that the team shouldn’t be entitled to that same protection?
Want to be a man and a role model Carmelo? Don’t cower behind lesser men playing the Cat’s Paw for you. Simply come out and announce to the world that you’re going to do what those around you refuse to do; honor the contract you signed and honor those other 11 guys that suit up with you night in and night out. Impress them by pulling Geppetto from the whale and winning an NBA championship for Denver.
Only then will you convince the world that you aren’t LeBron. Don't be that guy.