Dallas Mavericks: Heartfelt Reaction to Harrison Barnes Trade

Dallas Mavericks Harrison Barnes Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Harrison Barnes Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Harrison Barnes was traded Wednesday evening during the Dallas Mavericks contest in Charlotte. The Smoking Cuban reacts to the loss of Harrison Barnes.

In the summer of 2016,  I was working at a local steakhouse in Uptown Dallas. The restaurant was quiet during a weekday lunch.  A young couple was waiting for their food, with little to no attention being paid to them. As their lunch approached, the two bowed their heads for prayer. The young couple was the then newly acquired free agent Harrison Barnes and his soon to be wife, Brittany Johnson.

After achieving a life-changing $69 million deal, humility seems to be a distant state of being. Typically, ego and distractions of being placed in a different tax bracket merit cockiness and pretentious vibes.

However, in Barnes’ case, money wouldn’t change his charitable heart. Even if you aren’t religious, the idea of taking your time to humble yourself as a millionaire is a noble act. Not only is he perceived as a God-fearing person, but his commitment to the city of Dallas is also commendable. Between the time and money Brittany and Harrison spent on the Boys and Girls Club of Dallas, the construction for basketball courts he funded, and the random acts of kindness, there was still basketball to be played.

Putting the trade in a pure business perspective, the Dallas Mavericks made a sound move. Donnie Nelson successfully relieved cap space for a rather busy summer, while also acquiring a young player to experiment with for the duration of the season.

Unfortunately, emotion can’t be weighed. Barnes spent years building relationships in the Dallas community, only to be traded during an NBA game. This isn’t to paint Mavericks officials as evil or heartless, but more so to empathize with Barnes in a difficult moment. Although seeing Barnes’ face when he heard the news was hard to watch, admittedly so, I was happy with the trade.

Essentially, Harrison Barnes was traded as a salary dump asset. Frankly speaking, it reminds me of Woody Harrelson’s character in Semi-Pro being traded for a washing machine. Obviously an exaggerated comparison, but the sentiments are identical. For Barnes to experience this as cameras were rolling magnifies the embarrassment.

Despite the trade helping the franchise in the free agency sweepstakes of 2019, certain Mavericks employees emotions weren’t filtered. Rick Carlisle and Dirk Nowitzki were notable members of the Mavericks whose reactions revealed their stance on the trade, or at least how it was executed.

“He’s a better man than me”, Nowitzki stated after the game. Harrison Barnes transcends the game of basketball. A humanitarian who just so happens to play basketball. Jokes of his performance in the 2016 finals will not define his legacy. Dirk Nowitzki is one of the most influential players of all time, and he was able to see the importance of Barnes.

Players at Barnes’ age typically don’t exude the wisdom and class he showcases on the daily. Despite a rookie taking reigns of the offense, Barnes didn’t flinch nor pout. Instead, he put his hard hat on and went to work as he always does. The aforementioned actions put Barnes in Rick Carlisle’s good graces.

"“He’s a special guy, he’s about all the right things on the basketball floor and in the community. He’s an example for what you want your kids to be.”"

Remember, Rick Carlisle played the piano at Harrison Barnes’ wedding. There is a legitimate friendship between the two. Carlisle is not one to hand out blind praise, it’s evident Barnes touched the franchise in a positive manner.

Barnes was compared to Finley last summer during the press conference after Dallas drafted Luka Doncic. Relative to Finley’s time in Dallas, Barnes didn’t see the same success of the Wisconsin star, but his role was similar, as the third option to two budding stars. Unfortunately for Dallas, history didn’t quite repeat itself.

Thankfully, there is no malice between the Mavericks organization and Barnes. Those close to the Mavericks franchise relayed the message that Barnes wasn’t a victim of ignorance. Still, being traded during a game isn’t an ideal scenario.

Though the Mavs’ big three of the early 2000s didn’t last as long as many wished, the three players experimented various successful situations when two of the three parted from Dallas. Barnes has an opportunity to do the same in Sacramento, albeit the Kings aren’t necessarily lightyears ahead of the Mavericks.

Next. Dallas Mavericks trade Harrison Barnes to the Kings

In closing, Harrison Barnes’ love and dedication for the city of Dallas, or mankind in general, won’t be forgotten. The Smoking Cuban staff wishes him well in the new chapter of his life.