Reassessing the value of our players

Enjoy some philosophical musings about our players' worth

I was just reading the Schwartz' post over at Valley of the Suns. I love Mike's stuff and read it everyday and lately the site has had three posts that relate to Amare and trades.

"The People Have Spoken" -

"STAT must Stay" -

"Au Revoir Amar'e" -

If you haven't read these but are keeping up with the whole debate then you probably already know the content. The summaries are pretty normal. Following them and others posts and replys that I have read on this site, I first want to summarize what I think I hear about the trading situation then I will go off on my little shpeal.

Regarding the Amare situation: People are not happy with Amare. There is no small issue with him talking to so many media outlets and saying things about wanting to be traded. But that seems to be merely a catalyst reason to band together all of our differing opinions about him. Most, if not all of us, are upset about his defense. Many of us are concerned about his physical ailments (e.g. will his knee hold up, will his eye really get better, etc). A smaller group of people is highly concerned about his character - saying things to the media, throwing coaches under the bus, not taking responsibility for his deficiencies, talking big (something about a "gorilla game"). All of these people's frustrations have coalesced into a giant ball of "get the hell out of here Amare." There is a small but moderately vocal group who has stayed loyal to Amare and their reasoning is simply that he is young and good and that that is what you build teams around.

Regarding the Nash situation: I am a little unsure where all of this "anti-Nash" stuff begins but my general observations are that people are a little upset with his defense (though most are willing to let it go because of his offensive abilities). Others acknowledge the fact that Nash is getting older and may not be heallthy in the next few years. These people seem to want to start over with someone young (maybe Dragic?). Still others are upset because Nash wants an extension with more money involved (to the tune of 1.5 mil more a year right?). And others are indignant because he played some kind of power card in saying he wanted to see where the organization was going before signing again.


Now, I know that all of these run together in the minds of most people and that no one is only one of these and none of the others. I am not attempting to pigeon-hole anyone. Just making summary. If I have left out something then let me know. What I want to talk about is assessing the value of our players. I am well aware that the NBA is a business that is trying to make money. Trades, cuts, even hostile take-overs and underhanded dealings (ahem...the team formerly known as the SuperSonics). However, I want to call to attention the fact that these players are human beings and the types of things that they do have an impact on the culture of the people who invest their hearts into them. Its no secret that most of the NBA players make millions of dollars and do nothing to help society with it. During the All-Star Break Allen Iverson was quoted, while talking about the NBA Cares thing that it was all a sham, a publicity stunt. They give some money spend some face time, but really dont care for the most part. (this is not a rule, just normal) Dont misunderstand me: I am not sticking up for these players simply because they are "human beings too." Rather, I am more concerned with the impact our players have on the Suns community, the Phoenix and Arizona community and even larger Suns following (I live in Texas and love the Suns).

We have to understand that while the way these players play on the court is of utmost importance, in the long run, if they are a good person, then we as the Suns community are effected in much more profound and important ways. After watching Nash's videos on Schwartz' latest blog I was more firmly convinced that Nash is likely the most classy player in the NBA. Not only is he a great talent (how great, is open to opinion), but he is a great teammate and its no wonder Kerr wants him to be the face of the franchise. What tops it all is his cultural awareness and all of the great things he does with his money. Nash is an intelligent business person but he also understands how much bigger the world is than him and the NBA. Grant Hill falls into this category as well. I think on some level, Shaq is getting there. (thats debateable I know...) On the other side is attempting judge someone lack of worth as a human being. I refer here to the post that happened during the Kobe/Artest thing where a poll was offerred judging Kobe's "humanbeingness." The comments on that were ridiculous, thats all I will say....go look for yourself. I am not trying to perform that type of argument. Only the opposite. (Thus I am not trying to field questions about Amare's worth) "Good" humans, much less NBA players, are seemingly hard to come by and their impact on the community and thus the game should not be underestimated.

So here's the conclusion. How on earth can we let a player like Nash or Hill get away from us? How can guys like that possible deserve our scorn or abandonment? Loyalty is something that does not exist very much in the world today. True loyalty is given and received through any number of tough times but brokenness. Nash, of all the people on our team, deserves our loyalty. Perhaps we should try and remember this when we are proposing trades just so we can be happy with the success of our teams.


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