Today’s NBA has often been referred to as the “player empowerment era.”
It began with LeBron James’s famed Decision in 2010—as King James, the back-to-back MVP and unquestioned league alpha, decided to join forces in South Beach with two fellow All-Stars, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. And it took another momentous step when Kevin Durant, the most unstoppable scorer in the game, abandoned Oklahoma City in 2016 to team up with the loaded Warriors, who had just defeated his Thunder in the Western Conference finals.
In both cases, the hoops star at hand was a free agent. Regardless of how you feel about his choice—and, Lord knows, many fans are still salty about both situations—he had the legal right to walk away from his current franchise and join whichever NBA team he desired.
But in other cases, players have forced the hand of their team while under contract. Yes, player empowerment has rattled both free agency and the trade market in the Association.
Sometimes, a player requests a trade, a suitable swap is identified, and his wish is granted expediently. Other times, however, the player faces legitimate resistance to his request, as the team either has no desire to part with him or can’t find a fair deal on the market. In those cases, athletes have occasionally gotten creative.
Below, check out the five most entertaining and memorable ways NBA players have recently attempted to stimulate a trade.