MANILA, Philippines – The NBA can really be a ruthless business, and it just showed on full display on the eve of the trade deadline.
News broke out Wednesday, February 6 (Thursday, February 7, Manila time) that the Dallas Mavericks have traded their star forward Harrison Barnes to the Sacramento Kings for young forward Justin Jackson and 37-year-old Zach Randolph.
There wasn’t anything wrong with the trade on paper. The problem was that the Mavs traded Barnes mid-game. The former NBA champion was still on the bench during their 99-93 win against the Charlotte Hornets when the news flashed on the arena monitors at some point during the 3rd quarter.
Harrison Barnes was traded midgame and he didn’t even know pic.twitter.com/1UZO3jZsb9— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) February 7, 2019
As expected, criticism came rolling right along, with Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James leading the way.
Harrison Barnes was the best player on the Mavericks during the worst years in the franchise this millennia.— Brice Paterik (@BricePaterik) February 7, 2019
He embraced the community from day one and was out helping in the aftermath of the downtown shooting before he signed his contract.
He deserved much better than this.
The Mavs traded Harrison Barnes to Sacramento while son was on the bench catching a breather and fans want players to take less money and stay committed to the team they’re a fan of. LMMMAAAOOOO— Rich. † Lakers in 6. (@Fontvne) February 7, 2019
New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, the centerpiece of this year’s mid-season trade rumors, liked James’ post along with Portland Trailblazers star guard CJ McCollum.
Anthony Davis liked LeBron's post commenting on Harrison Barnes being traded mid-game pic.twitter.com/55DPx99a14— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 7, 2019
Despite the Mavericks’ treatment of the whole situation, Dallas living legend Dirk Nowitzki only had the best words for his traded teammate.
Dirk on traded teammate Harrison Barnes:— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) February 7, 2019
"He's just a genuinely good dude and he's obviously got bonds with some of these players here for life. That's the kind of guy he is."
More from @apschuyler: https://t.co/uEKZNxAZBv pic.twitter.com/FJC5rUAHX0
Barnes, likewise, was just grateful as he moves back to California to further boost the Kings’ revitalized playoff hopes. He is currently averaging 17.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists.