shawn bradley

Originally published in SLAM 153

Oh God. Again? Seeing Shawn Bradley in this space is never a good thing. And after it happened a few times in 1999, as he gravitated from Last Shot (remember Last Shot?) to SLAMadamonth to the poster, things just got worse. The lockout that year cost the NBA 32 regular-season games per team and All-Star Weekend—this year’s could cost them so much more.

Shawn Bradley isn’t playing anymore, of course. He walked away from the game in 2005 at age 33, having made roughly $70 million over a 12-year playing career. (Some may point to this as a reason to have a lockout in the first place.) But the bigger point is this: Shawn got what he needed from the game, then he left it behind. What’s to stop millions of people from doing exactly the same thing?

As the owners and players continue to spend time in luxury hotel conference rooms discussing how to split an obnoxiously ginormous pie, they’d do best to not forget the third group, unrepresented but just as important as the first two. That would be you, dear reader. And they should remember that you too have the option to just walk away.

Russ Bengtson