Chaos reigns ahead of the start of basketball season. After the league vetoed a trade that would send New Orleans' Chris Paul, the best point guard in the NBA, to the Lakers, Orlando's Dwight Howard demanded a trade to a super-team of his own.
LeBron James does not want to talk about that, though, as his Miami Heat prepare for the season.
The recent flock to high-profile, big-market franchises by the league's top players began shortly after James and Chris Bosh inked deals with the Heat in 2010. After seeing their former teams, Cleveland and Toronto, receive nothing but low draft picks after the two departed, other teams with stars a year away from free agency have been more willing to give into trade demands.
First Deron Williams was traded midseason from Utah to New Jersey, then Carmelo Anthony got shipped to New York from Denver.
When asked about his thoughts on the Paul and Howard situations, James said Sunday, "I don't know if it's good or bad for the league."
James did his best to play down his own role in the league's conflict between ownership and the upper echelon of players. "Guys can do whatever they want. I mean, we chose to go through free agency," he said. "I chose to come here. I was free. Other guys have some rights; other guys don't have rights."
He did make one salient point, even if it was painfully obvious: "The teams are going to do what's best for the team and the player is going to do what's best for the player."
As much as James does not want to admit it, his move to Miami with Bosh showed other stars that they too could build super-teams of their own. Instead of waiting for free agency like he and Bosh did, they could skip the waiting by telling their current teams they want out.
This conflict between players and owners is one of the issues that led to the lockout this fall, and it is far from over. But it's out of James' hands for now, as he pointed out. "I leave that for you guys to write and decide if I changed the game," he told reporters on Sunday.