Betrayal has been on my mind a lot lately.
The over-saturation of the Miami Heat's big three through the duration of the summer has been pretty unparalleled. Since Lebron's one hour (total bull shit) "decision special" I don't feel like we've really heard about much else. Every day that the Heat have played, they have been the ESPN.com cover story. That is, of course, until Carmelo Anthony stated after the first game of the Nugget's season that he felt like it was "time for a change," implying that he wouldn't be re-signing with his current team come free agency and his mind was already wandering as far as the options went.
Are you kidding me? You're paying these guys money to fly your colors?
I've tried to wrap my head around the situation and the psychology of it. I understand that there is a huge difference between my life and theirs. A huge difference between me switching majors in college (ten times, all the while nobody else is really effected by it) and Lebron catching a flight down to Miami and never coming back (everyone cares, and an entire state feels like they have been stabbed in the back on national television while the entire world was watching). Our lives don't level out or match up at all - the one exception maybe is that we are both capable of arming a supermodel girlfriend every time we take to the streets. But I digress.
My point is, at the end of the day, these are people too. Albeit very talented and rich ones. But shouldn't they hold themselves to the same regulations that most decent people do? I know words like honor and respect are loaded, but if you strip away all the implications I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to understand what I mean.
Go ask Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman if they would have left their respective teams to join forces elsewhere for "a better chance at a ring." But that would be a total waste of time. We all already know the answer.
I've tried to pinpoint a single hockey player that would do this to his city. Would scheme for an entire season to leave the squad he was playing for for seven years, take his foot viably off the gas during a playoff run, and then announce to the world that he was joining a few of his friends somewhere else without even alerting his team first.
Of the upcoming NHL free agents, I think Alex Semin of the Washington Capitals is a good example. Especially when compared to Carmelo. They both are supreme talents. They can control a game from start to finish with their speed, finish, and vision.
As long as they are in the mood to do so. As long as they happen to feel like it that night.
Rumors have been swirling for the last few months that 'melo has already contacted a few other players with the intention of going to the New Jersey Nets once the current NBA season is over - the one that just started on Tuesday. Could you imagine that being the lead of a hockey story?
Rumors are abound recently that upcoming Washington free agent Alexander Semin has contacted Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay) and Brad Richards (Dallas) and discussed with them the possibility of bolting to Edmonton at the end of the season to form a super-team.
That would blow my mind. And I know I am not alone in that. In fact, I will bet that you can't find me a single hockey fan that would nod his head and say "yeah, good move there. I like that."
Every time I read a story about the Heat, or Carmelo it just makes me thankful that most hockey players have at least a little bit of honor and respect for the cities that they play for. Ask anyone who plays in Montreal or Detroit and they will tell you that they are keenly aware of what they and their team means to their city.
These guys - the Carmelos and Lebrons of the world - they don't seem to have a clue or a care in the world about that. Hell, Lebron just made a commercial with Nike capitalizing on his recent fall to villianhood.
And every day that passes it becomes more evident. Lebron doesn't give a shit about you and how hard it was for you to save up for season tickets in the nose-bleeds while Ohio was sank deep into a recession.
And every day I am more and more thankful that I am a hockey fan. I am thankful for guys like Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty and Steven Stamkos who play the game it was meant to be played, and aren't obsessed with bringing attention to themselves via a twitter page or a clothing line.
They are soldiers. That they get it. And these other prima donna athletes just don't.