It’s your 28th birthday. You’re going through some tough times with your girlfriend. You like her, but you’re not sure it’s right anymore. You’ve given it a fair chance, but there’s still something missing. You assume she’ll do something for your birthday, but you’re not sure what. You don’t have time to think about that right now. You have to get somewhere. So you walk out of your house, only to be met by a giant billboard parked in the street, wishing you a Happy Birthday.
If you’re like 94% of the population (totally real statistic via The Totally Real Statistic Bureau), and this happened to you, you would think it was creeptastic. It’s too much. It’s overkill. And when it comes from your employer, as it did in the case of free agent point guard Deron Williams, it’s sad.
On Saturday, Williams will officially become a free agent and the Brooklyn Nets will offer him almost $100 million to continue to play for them. $100 million. If that doesn’t convince Deron, do they really think this billboard will?
In 2010, the Cavs could pay LeBron James more than any other team. But they didn’t rest on their financial advantage. They also commissioned a cartoon in the style of Family Guy that featured the star forward. It obviously didn’t work, and LeBron is now a champion in Miami. But why? Why didn’t that help sell him? After all, LeBron loves Family Guy, and he’s always discussed his desire to be more than a basketball player (*vomits* Global Icon *vomits*). Shouldn’t that have helped the hometown team?
OF COURSE NOT. Look, if the fact that your team can offer a player millions more than any competitor won’t sell that player on your franchise, then gimmicks and sideshows like a cartoon or a traveling billboard certainly won’t either. And if the time comes, and Williams decides that he’d rather be back home in Dallas, then this will look sad and desperate. Two feelings I’m sure shady Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov loves. Act like a professional basketball team, not a sad-sack lover.
Oh and one final piece of advice for the Nets. If Williams does go elsewhere, Prokhorov should not write an angry letter about it. It’s just not worth it.