When LeBron James went to the Miami Heat, people called him a traitor. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wrote as much in a Comic Sans letter. But, why aren’t people as quick to chastise teams when the franchise betrays the players?
Now, to make my position clear, I don’t agree with LBJ joining forces with Dwyane Wade and the Heat. Even Kobe Bryant only got the recognition he was after when he lead the Lakers to a title without Shaquille O’Neal’s leadership.
Usually press, fans calls the players traitors. How is finishing your contract with one team and signing with another treason?
Sometimes, a team may end up cheating on the players. When that happens, nobody really talks about it.
How about the situation between the Bulls and Scottie Pippen? Pippen was the second best player for the Bulls for years. When Jordan retired, Pip lead Chicago to the Playoffs. And they never gave Pippen a worthy contract. Not once.
In 1996, Shaq’s grandma passed. He was extremely close to his grandma and took some time off, to recover. At first, the Magic seemed fine with the idea. Until, Peter Gabriel, then GM of the Magic, said, during a nationally televised game against the Bulls, that he didn’t know where their superstar was.
Shaq showed up at halftime.
O’Neal finished the season in Orlando, but the big man felt betrayed by his team and moved on to the Lakers by the end of the playoffs. Shaq lead the Lakers to 3 titles, until Bryant stabbed him in the back to have the fame and glory all to himself.
Shaq, by the way, was the only player to be betrayed by the NBA. he was the only superstar to see rules changes that were meant to slow him down, the zone defenses.
Everybody thought Hakeem Olajuwon would end his career at Houston. As he got older, he was traded to the Raptors, for draft picks.
Days later, the Knicks traded Ewing away, instead of letting the big guy finish his career in New York.