This story is not really about sports, but it is, so we’ll begin it in that context, but this is a bigger issue which I’m going to present to you today. Chris Paul was a tremendous college basketball player, Chris Paul goes to the NBA and initially in his NBA career, he was surrounded by good players, he had a coach that he really liked and they won a lot of games!
But things have deteriorated in New Orleans…several teams now have upgraded massively in the NBA and Chris Paul no longer wants to play for the Hornets…he wants to go and play for a contender. He wants to play for a major market team…now, unlike Lebron, Chris Paul is under contract…one of the reasons I defended Lebron was that he gave the Cavs 7 years and 2 contracts…ideologically, many people… many of you are opposed to what Chris Paul is doing…leaving mid contract!
But I gotta be honest, I’m not too worked up over it…first of all (and this is inarguable) it’s much better for the NBA if he goes to New York for the same reason LA will eventually end up with an NFL franchise…but the thing about contracts, there’s a reason God created attorneys… basically to get outta contracts!
If you really look at what attorneys do…it’s to protect to a large degree, people who get stuck in bad places…that is, to a large degree, what attorneys do….and I mean, I’ve always been and have tried to be consistent…life evolves, you gotta evolve with it! Lane Kiffin at Tennessee, oppourtunity presents itself that may never for the rest of his life…he bolts! I have no problem with that…similarly I have no problem with a recruit outta high school going to USC, USC then goes on 3 years probation and the star recruit says “I’m gonna go play for Texas” I have no problem, that player is breaking that contract as well.
Divorce is essentially you breaking a contract! life evolves, contracts get broken, things change, I tend to be (and I’ve mentioned this often) if you’re gonna sit there and have this bunker down mentality and you can’t evolve and you can’t sit down and you can’t communicate…I think your limiting your oppourtunities in life
I think in this instance, for example what happens if you get into a relationship with a business partner and the business partner becomes a drug user? Don’t you want outta the contract? Don’t you want outta the business? What if you’re a woman and get married to a man that becomes a degenerate alcoholic and gambler? Wouldn’t you want outta the marriage? Don’t you have a right? He changed! So things, as you watch technology and media change, things change!
My dad, every few years, will go get a contract with his suppliers (runs a welding company) and he always wants fewer years rather than more! They offer 5, he wants 3 or 2 because things change! Like to me, you gotta be nimble and be willing to say “okay!” and Chris Paul is looking at this and saying “top teams have gotten better! We’ve eroded, you got rid of a coach I liked and I’m not happy right now with where I’m at!” and I’m honestly not gonna kill a guy for that and the thing that is really (and in the bigger picture) what’s interesting about this situation… you can argue that the Hornets would be better served if Chris Paul played for the Knicks, because the league would have more domestic and global value with New York being better, whereas New Orleans means almost nothing to the NBA’s bottom line and the league is more profitable…the league is better, basketball is better as a whole if New York is elite!
And here’s the thing about the NBA…it’s a sport for major cities, here are some of the ratings I was able to briefly find for all the major cities in the US t…and then NBA does very well in New York, LA and Chicago, Boston, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston…big cities, lots of diversity, lots of transplants…it does very well! It doesn’t do well in rural America, it doesn’t do well in medium sized markets….college basketball does better in rural America and smaller markets …so the better the major market teams are in the NBA, the better the league is!
And right now, LA, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas…are all playoff teams in the NBA with stars, Chris Paul to the Knicks and the NBA would be set for a very long time! That doesn’t mean you can’t have solid franchises in Indiana, San Antonio, Portland, Milwaukee…but never forget this: this is an absolute inarguable fact about sports, and I talked about this briefly in my last basketball rant… the medium sized markets will look up and watch the major markets, but the major markets will not watch smaller markets…so the viability of sports leagues depends on traditional powers, college basketball ratings go up when Duke is in the final four or in the championship game…the Yankees take it to a different level!
New Yorkers will not watch the Royals and Tampa Bay in the series…Tampa Bay and the Royals will watch the Yankees…I don’t know why, but that’s just the way it works! Traditional powers get the numbers…and the traditional powers are big football programs, big NBA cities, big Major League Baseball series…that’s just the way it works!
Soooo, I’m not going to kill Chris Paul. And a lot of people are saying “But he’s breaking a contract!” ahh, god they get broken everyday though…things change, he wants to change…and I understand that a lot of you are just diametrically opposed to the idea of breaking a contract…I get it! I totally do!!