David Haugh is my favorite sportswriter in Chicago. A few years back, after several years as a wonderful beat reporter, the Chicago Tribune gave him the coveted "In the Wake of the News" column. And he's continued doing a wonderful, objective, thoughtful job.
Yesterday, though, he let one slip through the cracks -- and the crack was about the size of the Grand Canyon. He was writing about the New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony who decided to stay with his home town team, rather than sign with the Chicago Bulls. This came a couple days after another NBA signing, when LeBron James decided to return to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers and left the Miami Heat. Haugh wrote, "In sticking with Knicks instead of coming to Bulls for far less money, forward basically made the same decision as LeBron James."
Except that it's not only not basically the same decision, it's almost not even close. The only only similarity is that both players chose to play in their home town. Here are the massive difference --
LeBron James left a team that has won two NBA championships, but is aging, and came to a team with two very young stars, and took $46 million less money (albeit for two fewer years, so per year it worked out to about the same, though still less).
Carmelo Anthony is staying with a team that hasn't made the playoffs in years, has no foreseeable likelihood for that to change, turned down a team that has regularly been in the playoffs and is considered one good player away from being serious contender for the championship -- and...oh, right -- signed for $49 million more money (albeit for one extra season, but still working out to over six million dollars more per year, ever year).
I think David Haugh is terrific. But he and I now officially have very different definitions of "basically the same."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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