Patrick Beverley exposed the problem with Kevin Durant’s trade request

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Patrick Beverley only tweeted what other people think.

Others, as they were tagged by Shaquille O’Neal on TNT broadcasts. These are the non-superstar NBA players, and the average fan would only recognize them from such insightful analysis as:

Giannis must be overdoing it. The Others must mobilize!

LeBron has to trust The Others to score about eight points tonight against the Thunder!

Gods KD and Kyrie are on a tear. Luckily they have The Others to fan them and feed them grapes during halftime!

They are the role players, the overshadowed, disrespectful and voiceless underdogs in this NBA caste system. Beverley was defending them on Tuesday morning, following the inconclusive news that Kevin Durant was staying in Brooklyn for the time being.

On set with Patrick Beverley, the tell-all star of the NBA playoffs

Since late June, several league teams have been at the mercy of an ill-fated, impulsive megastar (an annual NBA tradition like no other). Asking Brooklyn, just a year after signing a four-year, $198 million contract extension, Durant performed as a de facto puppeteer — trying not only to pull the strings in his career, but also those of Others that would have been packaged like trade tokens in deals they would not have chosen.

But Durant’s maneuvers failed. He and the Nets, including the general manager and coach he tried to oust from Brooklyn, have agreed to move forward with their partnership. And so Beverley decided to tweet the silent part out loud.

“Yal can sit and say nothing but that’s not cool. It’s guys with families here who don’t have jobs because of this KD s—. And being on and off, this is not cool.

At the heart of Beverley’s mini-rant is the unappealing truth about this league. The modern era of player empowerment only works for a lucky few: the 10-15 superstars who run the whole operation. Everyone else – from owners to Others – simply act as their valets.

That doesn’t mean that sometimes the haves and have-nots don’t mix from time to time. Within their powerful union, players have rallied together on matters of importance. Credit goes to the players for recognizing and embracing their influence, pushing the NBA to the forefront among America’s four major professional leagues on issues of social justice and voting rights.

However, Durant’s stalemate and Beverley’s fiery reaction reveal more about the NBA’s class gap, as well as a growing chasm in the players’ united front.

Beverley needs no introduction to hoop heads. The real ones know. He’s a defensive pest whose flops and taunts evoke unspeakable rage every time he plays against your guys – but you’d definitely like him on your team. So maybe that explains why every year he wears NBA jerseys like a paid-by-the-hour wedding DJ dons tuxedos. He moves so much that these are rentals for him.

Even in the NBA’s deepest fantasy leagues, no one would spend a draft pick on him. Because Beverley is a Other. It can therefore relate to those players referred to in Durant’s business scenarios.

Imagine forward Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns this summer. Somewhere drinking his water and minding his own business with his $90 million four-year extension. Although stars Chris Paul and Devin Booker lead the Suns, they don’t make it to the 2021 NBA Finals without players like Bridges and, of course, coach Monty Williams. This contract extension should therefore have anchored Bridges in the young and fun Phoenix lineup, which is expected to struggle for years.

Second, Durant would have thought he would be happier playing basketball in the desert. Bridges can only stick around and wait patiently for Durant to change his mind again.

“I’m sitting here watching like y’all lol,” Bridges wrote in a tweet on Monday.

Or imagine being Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown, talented enough to form an alliance with Jayson Tatum but still not so untouchable if Durant thinks he’ll look great in green and white. So instead of basking in the glow of the Celtics’ run to the Finals, he hears his name as commercial bait.

The idea did not sit well with Brown. Like most young professional athletes today, he encrypted tweet through her feelings hours after the rumors surfaced.

Good luck with the entire locker room unit this year, Celtics, as you try to battle it out in what will remain a jam-packed Eastern Conference.

There are others, among Others, who would have been affected by a potential Durant trade. It always goes like this: an NBA superstar sneezes, actors catch a cold. And the owners rush in offering boxes of Kleenex. Because let’s face it: When given the opportunity to add a gifted generational scorer like KD, any executive or governor would at least think of moving the entire roster, mascot, dance crew and dealers if necessary.

The NBA, after all, is still a business, and players like Bridges or Brown need to understand that they can be traded at any time. Additionally, any professional under team control through a multi-year contract should know that loyalty is just a three-syllable word thrown around only when it suits them.

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Coaches lose their jobs, players are traded and life goes on. But this business model takes an odious turn as the elite class controls so much, too much, league building. Their whims take precedence over their majority brethren. And, it seems, the silent majority might want to change that.

Beverley could be easily chased down and labeled a troublemaker. At a players meeting held inside the Disney World bubble in 2020, reports leaked that Beverley was constantly interrupting National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts. He can be brash and disrespectful, but Beverley’s tweet expressed the inequity experienced by those at the bottom of the NBA’s caste system.

The league’s collective agreement ends after the 2023-24 campaign, just two more seasons of assured social peace. Recently, a team owner told me that there are far worse problems in the NBA than a superstar claiming his contract. For this person, this problem has been going on for so long that it’s simply ingrained in the fabric of the league and no simple solution exists – and therefore it won’t impact future player negotiations. and governors.

In a follow-up tweet, however, Beverley suggested otherwise. He wrote that the owners “I can’t wait for the new deal to comeand noted what should be obvious to anyone worried about the future of this league: a situation like KD’s is not good for business.

With Durant’s request gone awry, the modern era of player empowerment took a rare “L” as the establishment could at least expire until the next fire. But the day players and governors negotiate a new deal, superstars like Durant will need reinforcements, not Others like Beverley staying away, tending to their grapes and their personal grievances.

About Ronda Reed

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