Anthony Davis and LeBron James

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The Big West Won't Back Down

Revenge? Sabotage? Where the hell do I sign up?

February 07, 2019 - 9:37 am

It’s a good thing there’s a credit card company that does NBA jersey assurance. You know, a program where if you buy a player’s jersey and then he leaves the team, you get a free replacement jersey. And that program is going to be doing business after yesterday.

Here’s a mini-rundown of everyone who’s trying on new gear and posing for new photo today:

Otto Porter Jr. is lugging his massive contract from Washington to Chicago, while Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis are making their way to Washington.

Miami is shipping Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington to Phoenix for Ryan Anderson. Phoenix now has something like a point guard, but other than the three guys involved in the trade, and their families, I’m not sure anyone will notice.

Sacramento, Houston, and Cleveland engineered a three-team, six-player, two-pick deal that included Iman Shumpert, Brandon Knight, Alec Burks, and three other guys who you’d forgotten about. So under the jersey assurance program, if you have an Alec Burks Cleveland Cavaliers jersey, you can replace that for an Alec Burks Sacramento Kings jersey for free.

Speaking of Sacramento, that’s where Harrison Barnes is going to ply his trade, now that he’s been moved from Dallas for Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph.

On the surface, that’s an interesting trade. In reality, it’s insane. Because the trade went down during the Mavs game, either while Barnes was in the game or on the bench. His numbers for last night: 26 minutes, 10 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 new team. 

Philadelphia Malachi Richardson, a 2022 second round pick, and draft rights to a 31 year old guy playing in the Turkish league from in exchange for the greatest piece of all: cash considerations.

And last, but not least, THE NEW ORLEANS ARE MAKING A TRADE. Except its sending Wesley Johnson to Washington for Markieff Morris and a second round pick in 2023.

Of course the Pelicans did not trade Anthony Davis last night, but there is a theory floating around that is absolutely incredible. Yesterday, Rachel Nichols asked Brian Windhorst if it’s possible the Pelicans were ever seriously interested in dealing with the Lakers or if all the talks and leaks were designed to sabotage the Lakers as revenge for what they believed as tampering with Anthony Davis?

Windhorst’s response: "it's not just possible, it's what happened." And then he went on: “The Pelicans had a method to their madness, in the way this went. Did they know it was gonna lead to a 40-point loss, because everybody’s upset? Not necessarily.”

Holy freaking crap. Revenge? Sabotage? Where the hell do I sign up? You can’t pop enough popcorn for me right now.

If that’s true, that is one of the greatest, coldest moves ever. That’s some Game of Thrones bleep right there.

The reps for Anthony Davis created chaos for New Orleans with the announcement that he was not going to re-sign with the Pelicans. The Lakers jump in and create more chaos. So what do you do? Do you panic? Do you rush to make a deal with the Lakers just to make it end?

Nope. According to this theory, if you’re Dell Demps, you use it. According to that theory, Dell Demps looked at this chaos and realized that chaos isn’t a pit, chaos is a ladder. And he started climbing. 

According to this theory, he kept getting Los Angeles to offer more and more players, and then allowed that information to get out, so that everyone knew who LA thought was disposable. So that everyone in that locker room knew who LA thought was disposable and so that nobody felt safe.

Oh, you’re going to offer us two of your young players? Which ones? Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart? Nah, give us more than that. Meanwhile, that leaks out to the media. The next offer comes in. That gets leaked, too. And then you give the impression that its close, but you really need more. You need more names, more options, after all, we’re giving up on Anthony Davis, so you better sweeten the pot.

Now it’s some combination of Ingram, Hart, Kyle Kuzma, and Lonzo Ball. And that gets leaked.

And if you’re New Orleans, you’re thinking, how can we make this better. How can we drag more names into this? How can we jack with more heads in that locker room?

What if we ask them to take Solomon Hill off our hands for salary cap relief? Suddenly, the deal is Ball, Kuzma, Ingram, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley, and some draft picks.

Before you know it, everyone not named LeBron is in the deal. And everyone not named LeBron is freaking out that they’re about to be traded.

And look what that led to? The reported incident in the locker room after the Golden State game, chants in Indiana.

The image of LeBron on the bench with three empty seats separating him from the rest of the team. A team that had been rolling earlier in the season now in shambles. And one that might be very freaking hard to put back together. The Lakers have turned into Humpty Dumpty and Dell Demps might’ve been the one who smashed him.

If this is true, Demps took an impossible situation and he made it incredible. You think you have leverage? You think you have something over me? I will work in the shadows and in the trade rumors. And I will slowly poison your drinking water and salt your fields. I will make you waste a year with LeBron. And maybe another one if you ever want to get your hands on Anthony Davis as a free agent.

You mess with my chemistry, I’ll destroy yours. I will jack with the heads of your young guys, I will have them taunted and jeered in every arena, I will make your whole organization seem dysfunctional. Nobody will want to be traded there now or sign there this summer. That is some genuine warlock stuff. Some epic spy craft. 

That’s not just some Game of Thrones bleep, that’s some Big West bleep.

That is The Dell Demps you’re coming for. Dell Demps, the Pride of Pacific. When you mess with the Pelicans, you’re messing with the Big West. And you do not want to mess with the Big West.

That is the conference of Jerry Tarkanian, Armen “The Hammer” Gilliam, B Shaw, do I need to continue? Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, J.R. Rider. The list goes on. What I’m telling you is that you don’t come out of the Big West without being tested in the harshest fires. If you survived the Big West, you survived on talent, skill, and most importantly, toughness.

You will not put a Big West legend in a corner. You will not try to get a Big West legend to back down. Because you’ll pay the price. It may be immediate. It may take time. That vengeance may come in the way you most expect it or the way you least expect it, but know this: the Big West remembers.

And if you want to mess with the Big West, just know this: We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us. 

Dell Demps will probably never admit that he did this. He will probably never admit that this was his plan to exact revenge. He doesn’t have to. Because it’s working. And it is spectacular.

That isn’t just impressive. That is truly legendary. If all of this is true, there should be a banner in the New Orleans rafters with Dell Demps name on it.