If you were even remotely surprised that Elton Brand left the Los Angeles Clippers at the alter for a bigger payday (a five-year, $79.8 million contract) from the mediocre Philadelphia 76ers, then you, my friend, are a moron.
That because, as a general rule, professionals athletes will almost always take the money and run. To me, this is as newsworthy as Britney Spears leaving the house without panties or an Olsen twin with an eating disorder. The fact that people are pretending to be shocked is absurd. Riddle me this Batman, if the guy wanted to truly stay with the Clippers, then why did he opt out of his contract in the first place?
And while we’re on the subject, if you think Gilbert Arenas did something noble by “giving money back to the organization,” then you too, are a moron. Arenas didn’t do anything. He was played perfectly by Wiz general manager “Big” Ernie Grunfeld, who was able to stroke Gilbert’s ego by offering a max contract when free agency kicked off at 12:01 a.m., but also put heat on Agent Zero by saying, “If you take the max deal, we won’t be able to bring in another player for the next several years.”
If Arenas was really giving the Wizards some sort of hometown discount, he’d have taken half the money he did and truly put them in a position to build a championship caliber roster. As previously stated on this blog, this team is capable of making the playoffs and nothing more. Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison are solid players and fun to watch, but they’re never going to be a threat to the handful of teams actually able to contend for a championship year in and year out. Winning teams score points in the paint and play sound defense, two areas this team has no interest in improving upon. But with the bar being set so low after years of Wes Unseld at the wheel, anything Grunfeld does is an improvement – including the annual one-and-done playoff routine the Wiz and Cleveland Cavaliers have worked out.