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There is Value in Crazy (In Envy of the Grizzlies)

Maybe I just miss Lance

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

While I very much understand the sensible trade deadline approach executed by the Pacers - outlined sharply by my colleague @C2_Cooper - I came away from today's inaction by the 'Cers with a feeling of ambivalence. That being said, sports fandom, inherently, is not a rational exercise (for support of that claim, please see the definition of "fanatic").

Today I was jealous of the Memphis Grizzlies. Why? Well, let's briefly take a look at their newly constructed roster. Joining the Grit 'N Grind Grizzlies via a trade for Jeff Green right at the deadline today is my favorite non-David West former Pacer, Lance Stephenson. And that rebound-stealing stat-chasing ear-blowing maniac is now the cherry on top of a roster that also features Z-Bo (love him), P.J. Hairston (don't care either way), Grindfather (love him), Matt Barnes (terrible person, not a fan of his basketball prowess either),and Birdman (people seem to like him, but also important is that he's my Nana's absolute least favorite player in the NBA).

As I've made clear on Twitter and on this very website, I wish the Pacers had gone after Markieff Morris. I also understand that Indy's team might be reticent to dip its toes back into the waters of any players with "character issues" following the events of say, sometime around 2004. Unquestionably, though, there is value in crazy.

The following is a non-comprehensive list of, shall we say, "edgy" guys on recent NBA Championship teams [NOTE: the 2014 San Antonio Spurs undermined my point, but Boris Diaw is quirky in his own way]:

  • 2015 Warriors - Draymond Green: Already a legendary trash talker, unquestioned voice of the team.
  • 2012 & 2013 Miami Heat - Birdman (see above) and Mario Chalmers (thought he was the best player on a team that included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh (get well soon!).
  • 2011 Dallas Mavericks - DeShawn Stevenson! Remember when he beefed with LBJ and Soulja Boy was involved? Great times.
  • 2009 and 2010 Lakers - Kobe Bryant, obviously.
I'm not saying, nor arguing, that the Pacers are one "edgy" guy away from being a Championship level team (unless we get Russell Westbrook, somehow). What I'm saying is that there is value in crazy. And today, the Pacers failed to capitalize on an opportunity to add a player others would stray away from because of perceived "character issues."

The 2004 Pacers squad are all shaking their heads, sadly, at what might have been.