Numbers never lie, which completely explains why the Brooklyn Nets felt the need to go ahead and trade veteran forward Gerald Wallace to the Boston Celtics last summer on draft night. After all, averages of just 7.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game didn’t exactly match up with the $40 million contract the Nets originally signed him to.
But that doesn’t mean any team has the right to mistreat its players the way the Nets, who allegedly never personally informed Wallace that he was being dealt away, did.
“It’s more hurt feelings, disrespected,” Wallace recently told the Boston Herald of how he felt after learning of the news while watching the draft. “What just happened? Nobody told you they didn’t want you or gave you a heads-up that they were about to trade you. It was just, bam, you’re gone to a team that’s been torn apart, and is looking to rebuild. That’s a tough place for you to be 13 or 14 years into the league.
“I was upset, but it had nothing to do with Boston or the franchise. I was upset about the way Brooklyn went about things and handled the situation, how it was done…”
Everyone knows there’s a right and wrong way to go about difficult scenarios, and there’s no doubt that the Nets, as an organization, completely disregarded the red “Wrong Way” sign with this one. Players don’t necessarily need to be told by the front office that they’re being shopped, but they do at least deserve the respect of being communicated with directly once a firm decision has been made and is on the verge of execution.
Does that mean that the Nets are an awful organization that should be a source of hatred by all the others that always ensure to move their chess pieces properly? No. Don’t forget, all of these teams are only run by human beings, creatures that have always been capable of making mistakes.
On the other hand, however, they should certainly be ashamed of themselves if this really was the case. That would be a classless move.
Best thing to do would be to learn from it and do the right thing the next time around.