When I was working as a stats guru of sorts at a financial house, we ran across a stat that said the average person changes jobs five to eight times in their careers. It shouldn't come as a surprise that even the biggest stars change teams, especially after this offseason. So, I got to wondering ... how does my job history compare?
While Carmelo Anthony might not be wearing a Denver Nuggets uniform next season, every player in the NBA will be wearing a different type of uniform ... check out this link from Ball Don't Lie.
Now let's see how my job history compares to some NBA situations ...
1.) The first real job I ever had was at my local grocery store, the summer of my sophomore year of high school, bagging groceries and pushing shopping carts. I probably could have done that forever, but I walked away early from that career to pursue football. Sort of reminds me a young Michael Jordan as he walked away from the Bulls after the 1992-93 season to pursue baseball. Did I just call myself the Michael Jordan of bagging groceries? You better believe it! Sometimes when I'm at the store and they are short on baggers, I'll step out of retirement and show the onlookers how it's done.
2.) The summer of my junior year of high school I entered the world of the restaurant business. I was a "expo" aka a food runner. I got to bring out meals to people while the lazy waiters and waitresses talked about the "awesome" stuff they did the night before or the "sweet" things they were going to do that night while standing around in the kitchen. Every night I worked there I would grow frustrated feeling like I was the only one who was actually working and I was having to do every damn thing, while my coworkers loafed around. I would get so fed up asking for help during our rushes that I wanted to smash full plates of food against the wall and just walk out and never come back. This is like all the stars in the NBA who spent their careers on teams that just never got them the help they needed. The biggest example that sticks out ... Steve Nash. The Canadian has been on some good teams and possibly a great one or two, but for all he does he just never could get the break he needed yet somehow he never quit ... neither did I ... well, until school started again (I was fortunate enough to be in a situation where I didn't need to work during the school year).
3.) Before I went off to college I again needed a little loot ... I wanted a job that would be fun and easy. Well, a small group of my buddies all got jobs in the kitchen at a local golf course making food for banquets, slanging meals to golfers, and manning the grill out on the patio. I was lucky enough to snag a opening spot because another kid had just about chopped his finger off and had to quit just days before I was hired. The golf course kitchen was lucky to get me because I had big time experience working in a crazy environment (see #2) and I was and still am a damn good cook! I wasn't exactly traded for the kid who just about cut his finger off, but it was close enough. This reminds me of how Chauncey Billups came to Denver for Allen Iverson. Iverson may not have cut his finger off before the trade, but he was worthless on the basketball court after he left Denver and Billups stepped in and the Nuggets took off ... just like that kitchen did. If you golfed in Littleton, CO and ate food at that golf course, your stomach probably thanked you. Just like how when I look at my #7 Billups jersey I will always remember that great run to the Western Conference Finals.
4.) After my freshman year of college I took a job at the high school my mom was working until the school year was out (about a month). After that month was over I was a free agent. I looked around at my options and knew in the back of my head which one I wanted to take. My boy Mark told me before I came home for the summer that he could probably get me a job with him at a pizza place in Park Meadows Mall. Mark's dad was running the place and Mark was also a big wig there (after working there during high school and going back there after our freshman year of college). He recruited my friend Rich and I to come to work with him, and while Rich was a good worker ... we all knew that teaming Mark and I together was key. Not only would I get to work with two of my best friends, but uh ... it was the mall ... cute girls go to the mall! The easiest comparison here ... LeBron James getting recruited by Dwayne Wade to South Beach ... where the girls hang out! I guess everytime I watch the Miami Heat play, I'll think back to fun times at that pizza place where I typically would get into a jam and Mark would have to bail me out ... James will get used to Wade bailing him out too.
5.) In college I had a job at a grocery store in the deli. Now that was a fun job! I worked with a kid named Kenny there and we both kept each other pretty well entertained throughout the days and nights there by making up jokes and funny things to ask people as they approached the counter. But the best part of the day was when Stevie Wonder's song, "I just called to say I love you" came on. For some reason that was the best thing the radio overhead in the ceiling played and ironically enough I fell in love with that tune over the summer. It would always seem to come on as we were cleaning up for the night and had the tile floor and soaped up. We would proceed to slide around on our feet and dance as ridiculous as we could to the song. People would sometimes come up to the counter and probably thought to themselves that we were idiots, but dammit that was all we had! When I hear that song today I still think back to cutting up cajon turkey, muenster cheese, and the like. Well, my boss there decided towards the end of the summer that he would not work around our school schedules. This guy was telling college kids that they'd have to skip class if they were scheduled to work ... hahahaha suuuuure fella. One night I left and told my boss I'd see him tomorrow. Well, I didn't see him tomorrow even though I said I would. I couldn't go back as school was starting and I needed to quit. So, when you say you are going to come back and you don't come back ... that is called pulling a Carlos Boozer. I'm sure plenty of you remember when he walked away from the Cleveland Cavaliers, after a handshake with then general manager Jim Paxson to re-sign with the team after they agreed to let him out of his team option year (making him a restricted free agent). I didn't have another job offering me $27 million more than the grocery store was going to give me, but I definitely never went back there.
Am I going to be upset if and when Carmelo Anthony leaves the Denver Nuggets? (Looking more and more like "when" now.) No, I wont be upset. After all, the average American changes jobs nowadays as often as they change their clothes. I guess I figured that Melo would not be a Nugget for life the night the team called his name in the 2003 NBA draft. It takes a rare breed of player to stick things out in one city. There are plenty of reasons for Melo to go and there are plenty of reasons for him to stay.
If or when he does go, it looks like what I thought would come true ... that teams will force Anthony to agree to an extension before making the trade official. This is great for the Nuggets as it gives the team leverage and also will give the Nuggets some great pieces in a trade to build on. The feeding frenzy is heating up and I'll be happy when it's all over and done with.
Fans of the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Houston Rockets are all trying to figure out how they can get the Melo man and his scoring ability onto their team. Nuggets fans are looking over the rosters of the above teams and trying to figure out the best combination of players and draft picks to keep the team competitive now and into the future.
Exciting times for the NBA and David Stern is probably happy that Melo is allowing the NBA to steal some headlines from Major League Baseball and the National Football League.
Training camp starts soon and there are six teams (possibly more) that can't really get a feel for what team they'll have heading into the 2010-11 season until this situation is figured out.
Let's get this over and done with, I'm ready to move on.