Loyalty is overrated.
Once upon a time, there was an NBA All-Star named Isiah Thomas. No, not the guy who drove the Continental Basketball Association and the Toronto Raptors into the ground before eventually getting slapped with a sexual harassment suit. I’m talking about the 5-foot-nine one who was an instant bucket for the Boston Celtics.
That Isiah Thomas.
With the 2017 NBA Playoffs on the horizon, it wasn’t exactly a secret that the diminutive point guard—who was averaging a career-best 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game that season—was continuing to play on a torn labrum despite the looming threat of a career-ending injury. But after Thomas’s sister died in a single-car accident that April, injury be damned, the basketball court provided a welcome distraction from the agony of losing his beloved sibling. And in turn, the city of Boston rallied around Thomas, doing its best to anesthetize his grief.
In short—pun intended—he became their champion.
On May 2, 2017, on what would’ve been his sister’s 23rd birthday, he set aside his sorrows in order to deliver an emotional 53-point explosion. It was truly one of the most beautiful moments in the history of the NBA.
But soon after, Boston’s love affair with its tiny titan came to an unceremonious end when Thomas re-aggravated his hip—the same one he had no business continuing to play on in the first place—in the playoffs.
Not even three months later, Boston punted him out the door in exchange for Kyrie Irving—which didn’t exactly work out either—and Thomas, who’s been nowhere near the same player since has spent the ensuing years bouncing around the league as a hobbled contributor.
“If I went back and could do it again, I would’ve sat out the playoffs, because I would’ve been playing right now,” Thomas admitted after he was jettisoned. “I would’ve been 100 percent healthy.
“I do wish I had more information. It was never, ‘This could be something that could possibly shut you down for a while.’ Because if that were the case, I definitely wouldn’t have played.”
You hear that, ladies and gentlemen? That’s the sound of a villain origin story if I’ve ever heard one.
Because like I said, loyalty is overrated.
Yet despite this fact, for some inexplicable reason, two-time All-Star Bradley Beal outright refuses to let go and let God when it comes to the Washington Wizards.
They’ve done almost everything humanly possible to break his spirit, from collecting crappy complimentary players, to hiring shitty coaches, to racking up losing season after losing season after losing season, and he’s still Facebook official with this God-forsaken, raggedy-ass franchise. He still kisses this team in the mouth and shit knowing sunshine and rainbows are on the other side of a trade demand.
He’s repeatedly expressed his loyalty—which is overrated, dammit!!!!!—to Washington even though playing for the armpit of the league has prevented him from locking in huge endorsement deals and collecting on very much deserved All-Star and All-NBA nods.
Why?! What naked pictures or salacious secrets are the Wizards threatening to unveil if you leave?! Why would you stay with a team hell-bent on squandering your career?! Did you not see Anthony Davis lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy?! Have you never heard of the Temecula Clippers?! Are you purposely ignoring the Brooklyn Nets?!
Blink twice if you’re okay! This shit doesn’t make sense!
“I respect the fact that they drafted me, that’s first and foremost,” Beal told NBA reporter Chris Haynes after he foolishly signed a two-year contract extension in 2019. “Just being in one spot for your whole career, having your jersey in the rafter one day, being that important to an organization, those were all things that drew me.”
BOYYYYYYYYYYY, IF YOU DON’T SHUT THAT SHIT UP.
LeBron is arguably the greatest player to ever step foot on a basketball court—haters will say it’s Jordan—and he would tell you himself that he would’ve never in life won a ring if he didn’t leave Cleveland. Did he win one after he came back? Of course. But let’s not rewrite history and pretend like people were tripping over themselves to join him with the Cavs. How many championships would you win throwing alley-oops to J.J. Hickson or Sasha Pavlović?
In his last six games, Beal has put up 60 points, 41 points, 34 points, 31 points, 33 points, and dropped 47 last night. And you know what he’s gotten for his trouble? A 1-5 record that can best be summed up by this clip from Wednesday night:
After the game, he was asked if he’s frustrated.
His response: “Is the sky blue?”
Wizards, please let this man go. I’m begging you. If former NBA commissioner David Stern could veto a blockbuster trade because of a “lousy general manager,” then current NBA commissioner Adam Silver should be allowed to force a blockbuster trade in order to spare a superstar player from a lousy-ass franchise.
It’s gotta be in the bible somewhere. This is abuse.