It’s a common courtesy in the NBA — guys who are about to be traded hear about it from their agents and others around the league, but when the hammer drops the GM or coach or someone from the team calls with the formal notification. “Thank you for your service ” and all that jazz anyone who has been fired knows too well.
Caron Butler learned the Clippers traded him to Phoenix through the crawl on the bottom of the television. Butler and Eric Bledsoe went to Phoenix and Jared Dudley went west to Los Angeles.
As you might imagine, for a veteran and professional like Butler perceived lack of respect didn’t sit well. He said as much to Jeff Caplan of NBA.com.
“I don’t leave with bitterness or anything, but a phone call would have helped the situation,” said Butler… “But it’s cool, it’s no hard feelings because that’s the nature of the business.”
There was a time not all that long ago where we just would have said “that’s the Clippers for you.” But the fact is their basketball operations have gotten a lot better in recent years — not just drafting Blake Griffin or trading for Chris Paul, but in terms of the professionalism with which the organization is run and perceived. This was a misstep that felt too much like the bad old days.
Caron Butler is the highest paid Phoenix Sun player this season at $8 million, and he also has the veteran presence to be a leader. He can work with fellow former Clipper Eric Bledsoe and the Morris twins. He can guide some guys.
Well, at least until the rebuilding Suns trade him. But I bet they at least call with the news themselves.