Sorry, Magic. Good faith works both ways
There is no magic wand to wave in this situation, if you will pardon the obvious pun.
Anthony Davis is still a Pelican. LeBron James will only have Davis as a teammate in the All-Star game. A man named Earvin known as Magic produced nothing of the sort before the NBA trade deadline. A league geared to stars and star franchises got its way while neither the Pelicans or Lakers got theirs.
Dell Demps and the entire organization of the Pelicans should not, in good faith, rush to judgment, rush to conclusions for a temporary solution which was not well thought out. The reports of Demps’ going into seclusion, not returning calls were virtually comical to hear and read.
The collusion Davis and his representation engaged upon with the Lakers was obvious. No one is under any illusion otherwise.
The Pelicans are in need of a transfusion of new, young players with talent. While the Lakers can offer that, is it the best package available? Are the folks running the show in Los Angeles delusional? Acquiring the best talent possible is the goal of all 30 teams, not just one.
The only way you determine that is to wait patiently, let them stew and let other organizations position themselves financially to make a run. In seeking the best deal, there should be no exclusion placed on possible suitors.
We have already seen the Knicks and Clippers do just that. While the Lakers are stewing over what did not happen, they can still continue brewing ways to accomplish their ultimate goal of getting Davis. Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if Davis ends up in Los Angeles—as a Clipper?
Let’s return to Johnson’s premise.
What compels the Pelicans to act in “good faith” with the Lakers? Davis and his representation did everything to bully Demps and the Pelicans to deal Davis to the Lakers prior to the trade deadline. The Lakers were most certainly complicit in the power play, per LeBron James, the obvious tampering which took place and the demand by Davis which docked him $50,000.
Now, the Pelicans, who were playing hard, obviously not “tanking,” are forced to play with a player who does not want to be here. Now, we get comments from players who boldly face cameras and microphones and claim not to hear obvious boos. Now, we get a coach who is in the most egregious no-win situation ever.
Alvin Gentry has to play Davis. He does not want to. Alvin Gentry would like to keep his job. He likely will not, though he has not been the problem. Alvin Gentry has to face the media daily and fish for the right things to say or to dig deep for how not to say the wrong things.
Gentry, like Monty Williams before him, will likely be a victim of the system that is professional sports. When you win, you are in. When you lose, you don’t get to choose your future. If Demps is gone at season’s end, a new general manager will have the proper authority to choose his own successor.
Faith requires complete trust or confidence in someone. Is there any measure of this which is applicable to Davis and the Pelicans, the league and the Pelicans or the Pelicans and the Lakers? It is a rhetorical question.
When any sound, reasonable business transaction takes place, good faith requires good faith from both parties, not just one. In this case, you can add a third party in the NBA. Someone should point out this to Magic Johnson.
Never mind. We just did.
Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…