In the wake of Anthony Davis’s perceived hostility towards the idea of signing a long-term deal in Boston, speculation has centered around the team’s treatment of guard Isaiah Thomas.
Davis’s dad was quoted as being skeptical of Boston’s loyalty to players, given that Celtics boss Danny Ainge traded the fan favorite just months after he had led the C’s to the conference finals, despite grieving the death of his sister and enduring major dental surgery.
Appearing on WEEI Late Night with Patrick Gilroy on Friday, NBA super agent Mark Bartelstein disputed the notion that free agents would steer clear of Boston because the team did Thomas wrong.
“I don’t think there’s anything like that at all,” he said. “Danny does a sensational job. I have the utmost respect for Danny. He’s forthright, honest about everything, tells you exactly what he’s thinking. We have a great relationship. I trust him implicitly. I don’t think that feeling or reputation is out there at all.
“When it’s all said and done, this is a tough business, and it is a business. The teams, rightly so, their job is to try to make decisions that puts the very best product on the floor for Celtics fans, so they’ll enjoy coming to the Garden and tune in and feel like their team has a chance to win a championship. And that’s a team’s prerogative. Sometimes they’ve got to make very tough decisions.”
Bartelstein, who represents Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, noted that the loyalty issue is often used against players, too.
“By the same token, that’s why I think it’s hard for fans at times and the media gets on certain players when they choose an option that might be in their best interests that maybe’s not in the best interests of the team that fans have been rooting for,” he said. ” “That’s sort of the tension that goes on in this business, and from a daily perspective, teams are doing everything they can to assemble what they think is going to give them the best chance to compete for championships, and players are trying to make decisions on what gives them the best chance to have a long and successful career. Sometimes those two things, they don’t mesh.”
It’s worth noting that in dealing Thomas, the Celtics received All-Star and former No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving, so it’s not as if they gave away the fan favorite.
Bartelstein suggested that parties on both sides understand the nature of the business.
“In a perfect world, you want it all to come together and it’s the best of both worlds,” he said. “But sometimes that rub leads to decisions that can create some hard feelings. You don’t want to go through that, but if people are honest about what they’re doing and they’re forthright with it and there’s a transparency to what you’re thinking and why you’re thinking it, then you have to respect a decision.
“I think teams respect when a player makes a decision in his best interests, and we try to do the same thing. Sometimes you don’t like it, and sometimes it breaks your heart when some of these decisions are made, but at the end of the day, we all know we have a master we have to live up to. From my perspective, it’s doing what’s in the player’s best interest, and from Danny’s perspective, he’s got to do what’s in the best long-term interest of the franchise.”
Full article @ Isaiah Thomas trade shouldn’t be held against Boston Celtics or Danny Ainge, says prominent agent Mark Bartelstein
Source: GreenStreet Blog