There's still a lot of uncertainty about what Luol Deng is going to do next
year, but for those of you who are going to the banquet, may we make a request?
In 1999, when Brand, Avery, and Maggette were clearly leaving, there was a
bit of booing. At the time, it was almost understandable. There is
such a bond between the team and the fans that you naturally assume they see
things the way you do, and when they didn't, it seemed almost like a
betrayal. Plus neither Avery nor Maggette were straightforward about their
Still, booing didn't help anything.
Whatever Luol Deng decides to do, we have all spent a year marveling over
this young man. He is a remarkable guy, talented, mature, bright, and
incredibly appreciative of his opportunities. If he decides to leave, we
should be grateful for what he gave us, because he is an extraodinarily
interesting and decent person.
If his intentions aren't clear by banquet time, it would, it seems to us, be
particularly stupid to have a repeat episode of 1999's banquet.
Regardless of any decision he may or may not have made, regardless of your
own feelings about his decision, it seems to us that if we don't honor and
cherish him as one of our own, and celebrate this remarkable young man, then the year we just spent praising him was truly a waste of time and energy. And chances are, like Carmelo Anthony, he has mixed emotions about the whole thing. Booing wouldn't help that, either.