I came back from a shut-in visit today and did a quick check of ESPN.com, finding “The Heat is on” by columnist Rick Reilly, a self-described Miami Heat hater.
I wrote about this in a recent post, but I’ll reiterate it: Why hate the Heatles? (I do like that pet name that many have given for the free agent conspiring threesome of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.) In particular, I don’t get the vitriol hurled at James for leaving Cleveland. The tone of Reilly’s article laments free-agency. I love it. I think if you’re a great talent and you get drafted number one by some cruddy team that even with you just can’t get over the hump to go from good to great and you’ve worked hard for period of years then you should be free after some time to go where you want to go.
Again, like I said in an earlier post, Magic had Kareem (He didn’t win a title without him.) in Los Angeles, Bird had McHale in Boston, Jordan had Pippen in Chicago.
I just don’t blame the guy. He’s a great player who has a couple other close friends, one that is really good and another that is great, and it so happened that they got a chance to play together. They convinced some other guys to take lesser roles and money for the chance at a championship (If you haven’t noticed, those guys—like Udonis Haslem—are making a championship possible. It’s still a five-man game.) I think that to decry free agency is, in a sense, to exalt feudalism. Perhaps a poor analogy, but one of the things I love about the United States, historically, is its rejection of feudalist philosophy (I’m reminded of this powerfully as we’ve been watching Ted Turner’s Gettysburg recently.). There’s something inherently wrong about a man not being able to discover and utilized his God-given gifts.
I’m glad that these athletes are not locked-in forever in places where they may not want to be.
That said, GO BULLS!