I can cite an endless assortment of Dallas Mavericks examples of my long-held assertions ...
NBA players don't 'love' teammates.
NBA players don't 'hate' opponents.
NBA players don't think opposing team bosses are 'idiots.'
I mean, let's see. Just in the last few years, we've seen the Mavs love Tyson Chandler and then not love him and then love him and then not love him again, finally hoping he'd hang out as a just-in-case as Dallas flirted with DeAndre Jordan, and he rightfully, saltily, laughed at them.
The Mavs wanted Deron Williams so badly they sent Jason Kidd to go recruit him home. But not only did Deron stay in New York -- Kidd bolted from Dallas to do the same! (Kidd once explained this in a 1-on-1 interview with me. Read it. Is he wrong?)
Jason Terry was MFFL ... but then he found out that post-2011 title he was to be a short-termer and so he was CtC. He eventually landed in Houston, where Dwight Howard is about to be pursued via Dallas again (and again and again) even though we despise him.
I can do this all day. We hated Lamar Odom until he got here. And then, after a minute, we hated him again. We loved Kevin Durant until he said Mark Cuban "is a idiot,'' and now we hate Kevin Durant and we think he hates Cuban.
These people -- the players, the coaches, the execs, the owners -- are businessmen. Oh, I'm not denying special bonds cannot be built, especially when a room-full of men fights together to win a championship. Nor am I denying that on occasion there are true rivalries and true conflicts that have staying power. (Don't ever look for Dirk to bend over backwards for Dwyane Wade or David West to come to Dallas.)
But mostly, this is a fraternity of wealthy people who compete hard for 48 minutes every night ... and who then, after those 48 minutes, retire to the same restaurants and the same nightclubs and the same vacation spots alongside women who are friendly with one another, escorted by agents who throw parties for their "rival'' clients who are actually partners in the same firm. ... just stationed in different branches of the firm.
Chandler Parsons and DeAndre Jordan just proved it.
DeAndre, of course, is Public Enemy No. 1 in Dallas, his unprecedented summer-of-2015 betrayal of the Mavs and the reversal of verbal contract he forged with them earning him bitterness at every turn from DFW fans. Oh, and Cuban and Carlisle and Dirk and most of all Parsons -- the guy who has a friendship with Jordan and who therefore led his recruitment from the Clippers to Dallas -- expressed their displeasure with him in every possible way.
But that disappointment was of the "48-minute competition'' variety. Now? Now the Mavs season is over. LA is where DeAndre is and LA is where Chandler likes to have fun and, hey, as CP insists in the above weekend Instagram post, #NoHardFeelings, right?
The players and the teams love or hate each other, but not in a way that usurps the fraternal business of the sport. It's a lesson we should've learned with the way Dallas sent Tyson Chandler packing. It's a lesson we might want to acknowledge as some seem way to sure Deron Williams is re-signing to "stay home'' this summer. And hey, speaking of this summer, if Chandler Parsons really wants to show loyalty to the building Mavs, maybe he'll take less than his max in order to make room for more talent. Oh, and it's absolutely guaranteed he IS coming back, right?
But if he doesn't? Maybe we should understand by now ... #NoHardFeelings.