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Naidu: Thank you, Dirk

Not going to lie, this sucks. Dallas Mavericks’ legend Dirk Nowitzki is likely playing his final two career games within the next 48 hours – with his home finale tonight against the Phoenix Suns. “Impending retirement” provides an insufficient phrase to describe the waning days of Dirk Werner Nowitzki’s decorated career. Dirk has meant so…

Golub: The price of imparity

The Anthony Davis saga has me confused.  On the one hand, I’m mad that he requested a trade.  I don’t want him to go to the Lakers, I don’t want LeBron to manipulate the whole league, I don’t want the Pelicans to have to give up their best player in franchise history, and I don’t want AD to give up on the Pelicans.  On the other, it’s about damn time. Since the year after they drafted him, the Pels have consistently made short-sighted, risky moves that lowered the ceiling and didn’t even make them that good in the present. They have given no indication to anyone that they will build a championship-caliber team around Davis and Jrue Holiday (who, by the way, is the biggest victim here).  Should Davis waste his prime hoping that they get lucky and stumble into a Western Conference Finals appearance? No. He shouldn’t. Davis is the product of a new era of player control and player movement, an era that is changing how teams build their rosters and how fans think about their teams. This new age of player movement is killing league parity and – here’s the fun part – can also explain the political polarization of our country.  Let’s begin.

Golub: I don’t get it, Knicks

I honestly don’t get it.  My life as a Knicks fan has been a tumult of shattered-hope sadness.  There is a special kind of despair that results from getting the same misguided dream ripped to shreds every year.  The Dolan Era of Knicks basketball is an arsenic-poisoned abyss. Stay away, for your own safety. This trade makes me irate — I hate it with a fury I don’t like to give to sports teams I’m not a part of.  It just doesn’t make sense.

Tan: The NBA’s pre-agency problem

The 2018-19 NBA season, as has been the case since the beginning of the Golden State Warriors’ tyrannical reign over basketball, has been overall lackluster and uninteresting as the Warriors begin to round into form after supercharging their roster with a Demarcus Cousins sized battery to add a little Boogie to their splash. Once again, the regular season feels less like a compelling slate of matchups gradually revealing the quality of each team and more like a preamble to the inevitable desecration of the league by Golden State’s Voltron of a roster.

Naidu: Fear the beard

James Harden wants you to know. He’s damn good.

Often times, once a NBA player has reached his 6th or 7th season, his reputation is fully-formed. Rotation player, starter, all-star, elite (top 10-12), and super elite (top 5). The super elite class is the hardest to break into. In recent years, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant have firmly held places in the super elite class, with Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, and Harden hovering around the final two spots. For years Harden has been categorized as an elite player, winning an MVP last year. However, multiple playoff failures despite stellar regular seasons dominate Harden’s reputation.

Golub: Enes Kanter, the American harbinger

Enes Kanter couldn’t go to London because he feared for his life.  Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, via his evil henchman and former NBA player Hedo Turkoglu, has consistently threatened, mocked, and insulted Kanter for Kanter’s opposition to ruthless totalitarian xenophobia and political suppression.  Ironically, Hedo was a heady player known for his ability to handle and facilitate. Turkoglu claimed Kanter lied about fearing for his life. He called Kanter a fraud for hiding the fact that he couldn’t get a visa to enter the UK.