According to others, player empowerment had died and teams had become the center of attention again, as it was how sports were "intended" to work.
The story of Damian Lillard was only temporary, and given that he is the good soldier and James Harden is leaving
for his fourth team in 22 months—the Los Angeles Clippers—it's possible that it wasn't even a fair one.
Given Harden's notoriety, it could seem a little smarmy to zoom out and watch a Hall of Fame player pulling off brilliant departure moves
to get his money and where he wants to go. When Harden's name appeared in international promos
that resembled a cross between a rapper and a wrestler, he felt deceived by management, most so by Daryl Morey.
The traditionalists who have long held the opinion that NBA players have gone insane and should be disciplined
by supernatural powers definitely didn't feel good about it. In several instances, it started to seem disorganized.
Though there is evidence of player empowerment, it is outweighed by the messiness, as the saying goes, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." Given the number of famous players in the NBA,
it will inevitably seem as though everyone has made a trade request, yet many players have actually been transferred against their will and to undesirable locations.