Professional athletes have a lot to learn from Dewayne Dedmon when it comes to handling a rocky relationship or trade request.
The professional athlete that requests a trade is typically disgruntled, unreasonable, and checked out of whatever his current team’s goals are. The opposite has been true for Sacramento Kings center Dewayne Dedmon.
Dedmon’s decision came when the team had lost 5 in a row and was seemingly at rock bottom. It didn’t come as much of a shock that the Kings’ marquee free-agent signing who had fallen out of the rotation wanted out of Sacramento.
Just another disgruntled play whose numbers took a dip once they signed up to play in “Basketball Hell”.
But as the story developed and Dedmon remained on the roster, it became apparent that this wasn’t your typical trade request.
First of all, the reports are that Dedmon asked for a trade, rather than demand one. He likely realized that he had fallen out of favor in both the short and long terms, and both sides should be ready to move on if that’s the case.
By all of his teammate’s accounts, Dedmon has handled the situation completely professionally. A quote from De’Aaron Fox in Jason Anderson’s article for the Sacramento Bee sums up Dedmon’s continued dedication:
“Obviously, as a player in this league, you want to play, but he’s been great,” Fox said. “He still brings energy. He’s still a professional. He comes to practice and does what he needs to do. He gets along with everybody and he’s been great. Obviously everybody wants to play, but he hasn’t been a problem for us at all, not even a little.”
While he is handling things the right way with his teammates, he is doing the same with the fans and local media. Dedmon attended a public event with a handful of other Kings players last week as rumors about him swirled.
But he truly fell back in to the good graces of Kings fans on Tuesday night with his performance in Sacramento’s win over the Suns.
Dedmon Gets The Call, Goes To Work
The Kings were extra thin on their front line coming into the game, dealing with injuries to both Marvin Bagley as well as Richaun Holmes. Harry Giles (who had also recently fallen out of the rotation) got his first start due to the circumstances.
Dedmon was called upon as well. After playing just seven total minutes in two appearances over the previous 15 Kings games, coach Luke Walton subbed Giles out and replaced him with Dedmon at the 4:30 mark of the first quarter.
He did not disappoint.
Dedmon played a whopping 32 minutes, including the final 19 minutes of game action while the Kings came roaring back from a 21-point deficit. While he inevitably committed some of the errors that have plagued him all season (missed threes, bad turnovers), he was solid for the Kings and a key part of their victory.
He finished the game with a double-double, 12 points and 10 rebounds. Perhaps his most important statistical contribution came at the free-throw line, where Dedmon was able to go 5 for 6 in a time when the Kings are struggling mightily with their free throws.
Dedmon fought for rebounds and made timely baskets. He hustled and provided energy that the Kings severely lacked in the absence of Holmes. While he did airball a big three-pointer at a crucial point in the game, he more than made up for it with perhaps his best performance of the season.
Despite all of the turmoil, loss of playing time, and trade rumors surrounding Dedmon, he showed up when his number was called. He punched the clock, brought his lunch pail, got dirty, and helped lead the team that he prefers to leave to a big road victory.
In a moment when he could have thrown in the towel, Dedmon came up huge. Maybe other NBA players, and professional athletes in general, can learn a thing or two from Dewayne Dedmon.