Thursday, September 27, 2007

Shut Up And Play

Upon hearing the news that Shawn Marion asked to be traded from Phoenix, the opening scene of the movie Baseketball came to mind. I invite you to play the first few minutes of the video above. These lines in particular stand out:

The games themselves became subordinate to the quest for money. Players sold their services to the highest bidder, much like the hired guns of the Old West. The search for greener pastures went on unabated. Fist-fighting and brawling permeated every sport, overshadowing any evidence of competition. As the problems mounted, the fans became less and less interested. But no matter how far the major sports went, it wasn't enough to bring the fans back.

My favorite vigilante social commentators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of South Park) again hit the nail on the head. Athletes like Barry Sanders, Cal Ripken Jr. or even Mike Sweeney are an endangered species. At the first sign of a storm, men like Marion jump ship. Today's athletes realize that owners and GMs don't want players with bad attitudes plaguing their franchises, and that there is a lot of power in a trade request. My advice to new Suns GM Steve Kerr: call his bluff.

The team Marion wants to be traded to, the Los Angeles Lakers, just went through this. Kobe Bryant used the idea that his attitude towards the team was so bad that the Lakers couldn't afford to keep him. They called his bluff, and he is still in L.A. These GMs need to obtain a "shut up and play" mentality. Marion won't sit out. While occasionally the players are holding a good hand, remember: as the general manager, you always have the upper hand.


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