Why Trade Demands Are Good for the NBA

Trading players like commodities remind sports fans that professional leagues are different from any other business.

In case there was any doubt about who runs the NBA after the protracted lockout and all of its fraught power struggles, DeMarcus Cousins kindly cleared it up for us last week.

Cousins, a talented but flawed big man for the lowly Sacramento Kings, either did or did not demand a trade sometime around New Year’s. Head coach Paul Westphal thought he did, anyway, so he ordered his best player to stay home while the team traveled to a game in New Orleans. Within four days, Westphal had been fired and Cousins was back in the starting lineup.

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