07 July 2011
It took 133 days, 22 hours and 41 minutes for the full range of the Deron Williams trade's consequences to become apparent to me. At 8 o'clock this morning as I groggily stumbled through my TweetDeck overnights I became aware of the most important short term effect of that (in)famous transaction. I'm not referring to Derrick Favors' blocks or Enes Kanter's endearing interviews or two for one dollar DWill jerseys at Fanzz, I'm referring to the psychological peace and quiet of not having to worry or care about what Deron Williams is going to do with himself and that despicable beard.
I should backtrack and say that once I had recovered my voice from all the shouting and my thumbs had stopped throbbing from the frenetic tweeting, I did take some comfort in knowing that I wouldn't have to worry about secret All Star Weekend conversations with the Knicks or other nightmare scenarios in which we would lose Deron Williams for a whole bag of nothing. I didn't, however, understand the magnitude of relief I would feel come summer time when even with the lockout staring us in the face, "simply" missing a season wouldn't have been Utah's worst case scenario.
So while we spend time, fingers crossed, waiting for the lockout to come to a close so that our fresh, young, athletic core can get some time together to build chemistry and learn an offense, Nets fans on the other side of the continent can experience all the grief and anxiety we were careening toward late last winter.
Is it rude to thank someone and apologize simultaneously? Don't care. Thanks and sorry, Jerseyites. I don't envy you. Have fun with this Turkey thing.
Seriously, this could be our Haboob (click it, you know you are curious and I assure you it is safe for work). Every Tweet, DailyDime and PTI subsection that mentions the name of the second of our great former point guards, from now until the moment the former Illini inks a deal wherever he inks it, is gonna be riddled with speculation of the sort that can fracture the foundations of the most established NBA franchises. "What is going to happen to our franchise player and what can we do about it?" The answer is, as we here on the Wasatch Front have known for a long time, not a dang thing.
I had always given #8 the benefit of the doubt. I assumed that whatever he was doing he was doing in good faith. I took him at his word when he professed that he didn't want to handle himself like LeBron, that his tight lippedness was really about professionalism and preserving his and his franchise's dignity. I still take him at his word. I won't assassinate his character. I think he is an outstanding player and person. I also believe that he was our first true superstar of the new millenium and as such was guaranteed to be the first to crush our illusions about loyalty in the NBA. We had been warned about Boozer. But Deron was homegrown, trusted and idolized and even after the short contract signing we always hoped he'd be like John and Karl. Loyal even if he had to blow off steam in the media before signing on for another go at it.
The problem is that we'll never know what Deron would have done because our manangement kicked the "coming to terms with the reality of the NBA" stone down the road a bit more.
The reality of modern pro sports is what Jazz fans have been sheltered from for a long time. We haven't faced real drama or fear. When it looked like it was going to go bad our management swept in, nipped it in the bud and gave us certainty for the near future. That is, essentially, what they have always done. I'm grateful for it. I don't want to worry about DWill which is exactly what I'd be doing like gangbusters if he were still here. It just wouldn't be fun anymore.
We now stand at the fence, to finally get around to the metaphor I've been circling, between two yards. On the other side there is grass, just like there is on our side. Our grass is green and young and time will tell whether it will yield a yard worthy of a "Best Lawn in the Neighborhood Award." We should be happy with that. We don't have any weeds and its very nicely mowed and there's probably a trampoline. The grass on the other side is fine right now too, no greener than ours. But a storm is coming and our yard has bigger trees and better shelter. Their yard may well weather the storm and end up looking spectacular, perhaps even better than ours. But the first big raindrop just fell, and the neighbors have to be wondering if the storm is going to flood them out and wash the grass away. We can just chill here on the porch and drink lemonade, knowing that for now at least, things are cool.
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