Monday, July 9, 2012

2012 NBA Free Agency: The Long, Winding Road and My Obsessive Struggleto Keep Up

“You got me going in circles. Oh round and round I go.”

Lyric from: Going in Circles from the album Grazin'
Written By: Jerry Peters and Anita Poree
Performed by: The Friends of Distinction
Deron Williams, Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

I have always preferred boutique shopping to the arduous task of finding the perfect outfit in the seemingly endless aisles of a large, chain department store.  Call me crazy, but I find comfort in fewer choices of quality pieces as opposed to a myriad of choices from which I am forced to discern the good, the bad and the ugly.
The above described quirk is directly tied to a personality trait that has made this year’s NBA free agency period nearly unbearable for me.
For all of the drama of last year’s NBA collective bargaining agreement negotiations, the final outcome did nothing to thwart the hysteria of free agency. According to Chris Palmer of ESPN, teams have spent nearly $400 million thus far and from all indications, they’re not done.
In reality, my struggle is not a unique one. In these dog days of the 24-hour news cycle and enough blogs, internet shows and sports networks to analyze every single potential move, we are all inundated with information about what player might be going where, what impact he’ll have when he gets there and what his move means for his new division, new conference and for the 2013 NBA Finals.
I am way too obsessive for this. From my perspective this free agency period feels like I’m standing outside of the 10-story Macy’s on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.  Somewhere inside is my new favorite shirt and, my plan is to search every rack in the store until I find it.
And so I have read every article, watched every sports news report and agonized over every free agency related tweet. Here’s what I’ve learned, unlearned and learned again so far:
A Deron Williams and Dwight Howard pairing in Dallas would have made the Mavs the instant favorite to come out of the West and to possibly win it all. Williams is from Dallas and probably would have loved a chance to get back home. He likely wouldn’t want to stay in Brooklyn unless the Howard deal is in place first. But there’s an update: Deron is staying in Brooklyn. Stay tuned for more Howard updates.
Toronto was prepared to make a big push for Steve Nash. Nash is from Canada and could help bolster team loyalty while becoming an instant fan favorite. The Knicks could have also used Nash. He still has enough in the tank to start for the team and would have mentored to Jeremy Lin. But there’s an update: Nash is going to LA where he Bryant, Gasol and Howard might make LA the favorites to come out of the west and win the title except there’s still no word on Howard though, stay tuned.  

Dwight Howard only really wants to go to Brooklyn. He wants to team up with Jay Z and get on the fast track to becoming “Dwight Howard: the Brand”. Houston made room for him and the Lakers would be willing to trade Bynum for him. But there’s an update: Well, no update really except a trade might happen later today.

In a way, all of these team GMs and owners are searching for the perfect shirt as well. Looking for that unique player whose style, size, work ethic and athleticism can turn their NBA outfit into a winner at the highest level. Sifting through reels and reels of film and line after line of player stats to find “the guy” sounds like an experience not much unlike an all day shopping trip for a needle in a haystack. I am not amused.
The above described analogy is directly related to one big reason why I will likely never be an NBA GM.
But I am a fan and, I do love being a sportswriter and as chaotic as this time has been, I can’t remember a more exciting NBA offseason in recent years.
Dwight Howard Update: Blockbuster trade likely to involve 4 teams.

And around we go…