Choosing up sides.
We've all done it.
Think back to the days of neighborhood basketball, baseball or football games.
The two best athletes become the captains for the opposing teams and start picking from the remaining available players, right down to the uncoordinated geeks who wear thick glasses.
The idea, when the picking is done, is to have two teams of fairly equal ability so that the game they are about to play is competitive and thus enjoyable for all who participate.
If only the real sports world worked that way.
The biggest story in a week of big stories that included the World Cup, the final baseball games before the all-star break and the anticipated return of Tiger Woods to participate in a major golf tournament had to be the continuous shuffling of NBA superstars from one franchise to another.
In other words, the league's best players -not to mention its most successful and financially sound franchises -were choosing up sides.
When they finally get done, the superstars will be wearing new uniforms and have their names on new contracts, but most of the league's teams will go into the upcoming season with virtually no chance of winning the title or even being competitive.
Do you really think the Minnesota Timberwolves are going to contend for a title or even a playoff berth?
Their team is built around Kevin Love, but he's about to be traded to one of the league's haves.
This isn't anything new and it's not confined to the NBA.
There's not a professional sports league in existence that isn't divided among the perennial powers and the teams that go into the season with little chance of being successful.
Baseball, to some degree, has tried with its luxury tax for teams that go over its spending cap, but even it has several franchises that have no hope.
Can you imagine being a fan of the Houston Astros? At least they once had the Astrodome to show off.
When we picked neighborhood teams, we didn't let the three best players be on the same team.
Otherwise, not only was the result of the game preordained, but it also was going to take away the main reason everyone was playing -to have fun.
It's not fun for either team to participate in a one-sided slaughter where virtually everyone knows the result before the game even starts.
Yes, there always will be big-market teams with bigger TV contracts than those who play in a smaller market. There's not much that can be done about that. After all, professional sports leagues are a business. They're in the entertainment business and their No. 1 goal isn't to win the championship, it's to make a profit.
It's just sad that a bunch of neighborhood kids applied more common sense than those running a major professional sports league.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org