With NBA training camps set to open up later this month, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated sat down with the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, Michele Roberts, who feels that there is a “double standard” between how players and teams are viewed when a decision is made for the player to move franchises.
“If you want to be critical of one, be critical of both,” Roberts said. “No one has said a word about what happens when the team precipitously trades a man, especially a family man, and the consequences that that has on him…. We spend so much time criticizing a player’s decision to move but no time wondering or thinking … about a team’s decision to move a player.”
According to Roberts, if a team has the right to move a player without backlash, then a player should have the equal right to change teams, pursuant to league rules, without being unfairly criticized.
Ultimately, Roberts analogizes player movement, or at least the motivation for players to want to change teams, as any other individual in the workforce who wants to change jobs, firms, or companies.
“What I think has to happen is we have to somehow stop the chatter that I think is growing in intensity about the problem of player movement. I don’t see it as a problem any more than I would see a lawyer deciding to work in another firm as a problem. I thought that that was something we were supposed to be able to do in this country.”