Over the last few weeks, James Harden has been putting on a masterclass on how to demand a trade. He's legitimately living out George Constanza's approach
He knows that to get what he wants, he needs to make things a complete disaster. As big of a mess as he possibly could until the Sixers and Daryl Morey have no other choice but to fall on their sword and concede. It's a brutal thing to experience if it's happening to your favorite team, while extremely entertaining for the rest of us. Time will tell if it actually works, but NBA history tells us it's going to work. It may take time, but we all know how things are going to end.
While all of this Harden drama has been unfolding, everyone sort of forgot about the Dame drama right? I mean how many times can we hear that the Blazers still think the Heat's trade package is trash and that Dame still only wants to go to MIA. Booorrrrrinnnnng. We get it. At the same time, we had Heat fans who were watching Harden do the exact thing they pray Dame starts to do as well. Make things messy. Force the organization to bend the knee. Since his trade demand, Dame never really went that route. You don't see him publicly calling his GM a liar and refusing to ever be a part of an organization that employs him, even if I'm sure he could.
How dirty would Dame ultimately go? That remains unclear. What we do know is he's at least ready to be very passive aggressive online
Woah. Now things are getting serious huh? I mean everyone knows that in 2023, if an athlete unfollows their team on any social platform in this manner it's basically an act of war. James Harden goes on a public Fuck You Daryl Morey tour and Dame unfollows his team on IG. Now to be fair, I have no idea when this happened or if Dame ever followed the Blazers on IG to begin with, but I feel like we would have heard about something like that by now if it were the case. It's much more believable that this is Dame's way of turning up the heat (no pun intended but intended) on his trade demand. He can't quite go to Harden levels because he's just not that guy, so this is the best thing he could think of.
At least he's trying!
The thing is, I don't think he even has to make things messy. It's not even September yet, there's no rush. I think anyone who follows the NBA and has lived through these things before know that Dame is ending up in South Beach. Again, that's just how the NBA works. The Blazers can posture all they want about how they don't want the Heat's package, but as we get closer to training camp they'll cave. Everyone caves eventually. Harden's situation is a little different because we know Morey is a madman who will keep a player out an entire year if he has to, but that's a completely different deal than what's going on with the Blazers.
But I guess what move by Dame does do is lower the hopes even more that maybe there could be some sort of return/mentoring of Scoot Henderson. You don't come back from the IG unfollow.