Anthony Davis and Paul George can walk around town, saying they are some of the most coveted players ever in the NBA. A lot of players and even more draft picks were given up to get them on their new teams. The Lakers and Clippers basically gave 6-7 years fo their future and flexibility for them. But, they are nowhere near the most badass trade ever.
That title was given in 1983 to Erik Spoelstra’s dad. I know what you’re thinking. “I didn’t know his dad played in the NBA.” He didn’t. Jon Spoelstra spent 11 years as the Senior Vice President/General Manager of the Portland
Trail Blazers where he earned a reputation as a marketing genius. During his tenure, a 100% of Blazers home games were sold out.
Well fine, staff gets traded sometimes. The Clippers traded for Doc Rivers from Boston. This is even better than that. In 1983 the Blazers needed a point guard and managed to get a deal done for veteran Don Buse from the Indiana Pacers. What did the Blazers send back? A week of Jon Spoelstra’s services as a consultant. A week!! That’s how good he was. (via NY Times)
“I was an advocate that if you owned an N.B.A. team, you didn’t have to lose money,” Spoelstra said. “In 1983, almost every team was losing money and the Trail Blazers weren’t. The Pacers were for sale and they were bringing in different people and wanted me to talk to prospective buyers. The last guys who came into the room were two local guys, Herbert and Mel Simon, who ended up buying the team.”
Jon Spoelstra would later work for the New Jersey Nets, and in his time they went from last in attendance to first, so it wasn’t just luck or a crazy Portland fan base. He was successful wherever he went.
He can walk around town knowing he was the prize of the most badass trade ever. A week of his services was worth a player. Mind. Blown.