Player movement in the NBA is more prevalent now than ever. The constant change puts a strain on teams losing marquee players and also impacts the competitive balance in the league when super teams form. But good players have joined good teams for years.
During his appearance on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria as part of Christian Fauria’s “25 for 25K” to benefit the American Diabetes Association, Larry Bird pointed out Bill Walton’s decision to join the Celtics and Kareem Abdul Jabbar forcing his way out of Milwaukee to become a Laker. Player movement is far from a new development.
“It’s been going on for years, but not to the magnitude it is now,” Bird said.
But, he does have an issue with the way some guys are approaching the process.
“My problem with it, if you’re a free agent, you can go anywhere you want and join any team you want, but when you start forcing your way out of teams — it’s usually the small markets, too, that draft a guy, put all our time into developing him, and then when he gets good he wants to go somewhere else,” Bird said. “But if you just wait until you’re a free agent and go somewhere, I have no problem with it. But it sort of bothers me when guys want to leave a team that they’re on (and) they still have a few years left and force their way out because it puts a lot of pressure on management and the franchise.”