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As a rule I don’t usually discuss politics of professional sports teams and one of the reasons why is because I believe it can really spoil a person’s enjoyment of the game- whatever it may be. This time I felt so strongly about the wrong, personally, and not just based on what I’ve read that I decided I should step out and open my mouth for once.
I’m really upset about the way the Nuggets owner dealt with Marcus Camby recently. Camby’s agent and Camby himself feel the same way and I can’t say I blame them for it. The reasons for the inexplicable trade to the Clippers and the way it was done were insensitive and perhaps even deceptive.
When Nuggets officials were questioned for a reason why by Mr Kaplan (Camby’s agent), they said it was a salary dump which sounds bad enough but this particular maneuver may be one of the most unequal trades in NBA history and that’s putting it mildly. Also, if this is one of the most compelling reasons for the trade you have to look at what Boeheim ( Syracuse U.’s coach and assistant to Head Coach, Krzyzewski, for the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team ) said recently,
"I guess Wal-Mart’s stock is down a little bit or something. Must be down a couple hundred million dollars. I don’t know. I didn’t know money was a problem in that family."
This was referring to the fact that Kroenke’s wife is an heir to the Wal-Mart fortune. (She was ranked No 165 on Forbe’s list of the 400 richest Americans last year.)
"I don’t know how you can let Marcus Camby go. He was like the heart and soul of that team, when it comes to defense, protecting the basket and rebounding. It’s tough to replace him."
Just in case you need to be brought up to speed on the worth of Marcus Camby (to any team in the NBA) I would tell you that his stats alone are impressive and also the reason why his salary has been driven up so high. This should be an asset, not a default. By dumping a player who received the 2006-2007 award as NBA Defensive Player of the Year ( he averaged 9.1 points, 13.1 rebounds and an NBA-high 3.61 blocked shots in 2007 !) for a team who has been described thus:
"They’re a great offensive team, but in the NBA, in the West particularly, you’ve got to stop people (from scoring)" says Boeheim.
This is key, as Boeheim knows especially for The Nuggets whose greatest weakness is the defense and Camby along with Najera was making a huge difference in blocked shots and the amount of rebounds alone with Camby leading the way.
The worst aspect of this whole deal is how it was handled. In Camby’s own words:
"I understand that this is definitely a business, but I felt that the six years of service that I put in on the court and off the court, they at least could have given me a heads-up on what was going on. I feel very disrespected on that aspect."
The story on that is that he was actually traded on Tuesday night, the 15th of July, and only a day earlier, Camby was at the NBA summer league in Las Vegas. Not a single official there said a word about a potential deal. Blind-siding a player like that is inexcusable and hardly business-like. ( My opinion, but I feel it’s valid.)
The trade came off only a few days after backup forward Eduardo Najera- as a new free-agent- agreed to terms with the contract handed to him by the New Jersey Nets. It is almost crazy that the Nuggets organization continually talked back and forth about needing to play solid defense and started to make some headway with these two players but traded away their best defenders.
Camby said,"From that aspect, I really don’t understand the move. They obviously feel confident with the team they have assembled right now to get some things done."
When all is said and done I feel that whatever the organization thinks that it gained through a tax break and the clout of a trade exception (which is supposed to give them more leverage when they finally make a deal for what they gave up in trading Camby), they are going to pay for this dearly in the coming season when they see how Camby’s absence will deeply affect the Nuggets games.
Just The Castle Lady sounding off but with a big
8/24/08 : I made my 18,000th hit at 3:20 p.m. today! Thanks to everybody who comes to read, listen and look !