By Craig Kwasniewski
"Look what they did to my hand man!"
"All right, I'm gonna give you a choice. You can either have the money and the hammer or you can walk out of here. You can't have both. What do you want?"
Message to Danny Ferry, you can have Zydrunas Ilgauskas in 30 days and the hammer or you can walk out of here... If only David Stern ran the NBA like Ace Rothstein in Casino (or maybe he does, we're just not privy to his "negotiation face.")
This whole 30-days buyout and return to the original team thing is one of the worst loopholes in the NBA. Teams, players, GM's and media honks all flat out lie about the whole process like it's completely random that a player happens to return to his original team after a buy-out. We all know what's going on, and it stinks something fierce.
Just be honest and spare us all the lies. Tell us that Z is coming back to Cleveland in 30 days. Tell us that Washington dumped salary for practically nothing in return. Tell us hard paying customers the truth! Stop leaking false reports that other teams are pursuing Ilgauskas and stop having your superstar lie to the media by saying, “I’m not OK with losing Z" when you know damn well he's returning in 30-days.
I think that's the most insulting thing of it all, that teams play the BS game and lead us to believe that there were no backdoor deals and that Ilgauskas happen to organically return to Cleveland. We're not that stupid to see right through it all.
Rules are rules and the 30-day buyout and return is a loophole that while it ruins the integrity of the game, is not cheating. And props to Cleveland for finding a sucker GM (who's willing to screw over his own fanbase) to go along with the whole process. Just spare us the lies.
But in the end, I wish David Stern gave Danny Ferry the same "hammer" option or at least decided to close the loophole. He's changed rules before in mid-season (remember the 2002-03 season where Stern lengthened the first round to 7 games?), so why not eliminate this one?
(We all know why Stern won't change the buyout rule, just like when Delonte West went El Mariachi with loaded guns on a motorcycle and ZERO punishment in an offense waaaaaay worse and waaaaaaay more scary than Arenas... it's LeBron's world baby!)