The concept of loyalty has been popping up in NBA discussions ever since the Kyrie Irving trade. Not because of the way Irving handled his exit from Cleveland, but instead, the fact that Boston traded Isaiah Thomas in the deal meant that people have discussed how loyal players should be to their teams.
Thomas was the Celtics best player last season, along with the engine that made the team go. He played while hurt at times, sure, but he also suited up and played after his sister died in a car accident. Loyalty to Thomas would have meant he was untouchable in negotiations for Irving, but instead, he is now a Cavalier.
This rubbed a few NBA players the wrong way and led to this post on Instagram.
So as you can see, Caron Butler posted a photo of some text criticizing the way the Celtics treated Thomas. He believes this shows players should be skeptical about being loyal to their franchise, and the post was liked by a bunch of people, including Chris Paul.
Ray Allen, whose feelings on Boston are well-documented, decided to screenshot it and said, among other things, “It is just a business so when the teams do it there’s no difference when the players do it!” This ended up getting liked by Thomas’ new teammate, LeBron James.
There is a lot going on here, and all of it can be summed up pretty easily: Basketball players shouldn’t be criticized for doing what is in their best interest, because teams won’t reciprocate that love to them.