My mother, a recent addition to the Silver and Black Family, called me that day. Do you know what you asked me when I picked up my phone?
“Did you see that awesome Derek White Bobblehead? I need one, he’s my favorite player. You know, my birthday is coming up. Oh, man, that would be cool if somehow I could have one of these riders.”
Say no more mom, we got you. A few days later, the bear’s head was secured. Two days later, my mom, a once-a-loop fan, told me she watches every game at the San Antonio Spurs and only Likes number four. During the next match, I got a text from her that said “GO SPURS GO”.
Now if your heart doesn’t melt, I don’t know what will happen. She also loves the number four. Let’s be very clear about that.
Well, on my way to getting my son of the year honor by said bobblehead, the Spurs suddenly pulled the rug out from under me.
Not only did Spurs lose White, but in doing so he spoiled my mother’s birthday and basically crushed her dreams by getting rid of her favorite player. I’ll give you details of her reaction when I heard the news. Let’s just say she wasn’t pretty.
Oh man, if an NBA deal could do as much damage to the family as this to the fans, it makes you wonder how the actual player being traded felt, right?
Imagine you are in a hotel on an annual rodeo trip. Every year, the NBA’s trading deadline falls somewhere during the infamous playlist. You’re about to enjoy a nice post-game meal, and then out of nowhere, Coach Popovich swings by your room to deliver the message that your favors are no longer necessary and you’ve been traded.
Effective immediately, you’ll gather your belongings and head east to a different time zone with three feet of snow on the ground, all the while staying ready to play world-class basketball against the next opponent on the deck for your new team. The next opponent is the Denver Nuggets, and your new team is the Boston Celtics.
Life comes to you guys fast, even in the NBA.
A true professional would be expected to be able to switch teams, regardless of logistics, and production. There is no need for a learning curve and no time is given to adapt to a new environment. That seems to be a huge expectation that only a handful of the world’s most talented hoop stars can fulfill. If the past few games are any indication, Derek White has undoubtedly shown us one thing.
Derek White is indeed a true professional.
Now the white is rocking his famous Kelly green jersey, competing against Denver. Climb onto the parquet floor in Boston, Massachusetts and embrace the moment. He took it against the same Denver team that was in the middle of career-defining opportunities in the past.
Some may remember a piece from the Air Alamo referring to White’s playoff performance against Mile City Football Club which he put on the map in an article written a few moons ago. This article wondered if the San Antonio Spurs had forgotten about White.
San Antonio may not have forgotten him then, but they have now, and the result was an absolute win for Celtic’s front office, players, coaches and fans. And Boston knows it.
Spurs got it wrong in this trade for two reasons.
Averaged just under 13 points per game since joining Boston, White has shown that his consistent day and night output is unparalleled, even in conditions like the trade. In his last game, he had nine points, six boards and six assists in 36 minutes of play. That’s the base line for a leader who evenly distributes The Rock to the likes of superstar Jason Tatum.
The former Spur has always been and still knows his role, plays within himself, and makes the team better as a whole. If you run a franchise in the NBA, are you willing to rely on a 19-year-old rookie from a class that some say is less than stellar to provide these things? I’m not. Obviously silver and black.
Doing something for someone else while expecting nothing in return is an asset that sometimes goes beyond your natural basketball talent. Doing so requires selflessness. Altruism makes any team better. Take heed – the Tottenham franchise needs to hold on to people like this, in which case, they directly missed them.
San Antonio is known for producing valuable players who go to other clubs and thrive after being traded, and this is one way to look at a questionable trade in hindsight. I see it as a list of missed opportunities.
Regardless of how we see you as a fan, we must now add The Great White Buffalo to Spur’s previous roster and proceed with admissions. At least we got a bobblehead.