Thursday, March 15, 2012

Two Events Appealing To The Sovereignty of Person as Relation: Greg Smith Formerly at Goldman Sachs and Mike D'Antoni Formerly of the Knicks

Thursday, March 14, 2012.

            What is at stake in these two stories? The value of the others as the prime value has been trumped by the self  (:The Unencumbered Self”)  as the absolute value. 

In the Smith story, the point is the devaluation of the client from person to thing. The NYT today (Thurs. March 13, B6) said: “The notion of client loyalty went out with the old structure. And as these became public companies, clients looked for the cheapest deal, and the firms looked for as many clients as possible… You make a much bigger buck on a transaction than on the long-term relationship… You have profiteers as opposed to advisers.” 
   Quoting from a Mr. Smith: “The crucial element… is to anticipate the conflicts, and if need by, use them to your advantage. ‘Find the one that has the biggest conflict and get him on your side… You want somebody who understands both sides. The guy on both sides of the equation will find a deal to get the deal done…Is he getting his bread buttered on both sides? Who cares? Just get the deal done.”

In the D’Antoni story, the coach had the vision of the total team. Everybody moved the ball, and everybody shot the ball. With Jeremy Lin at point guard, the kid has lateral vision, moves the ball, is a marvelous ball handler, passes and sets up the open man who – whoever he is – takes the shot. Lin has a humility of execution and unselfishness. He also is unafraid and recovers after failure. 

The team had the Linsanity run of 7 straight wins and 8 out of 9 before the return of Carmelo Anthony. Anthony is a superb basketball player who expects the ball to be moved in his direction as focal point. After his return from injury, the team lost 8 of 10 games. D’Antoni met with the team owner – Dolan – and asked if he would be open to trade Anthony before today’s trading deadline. When the answer was no, D’Antoni resigned for the good of the team. From this perspective, it seems that the coach did for the team what Carmelo Anthony was not able or willing to do. The Times says: “ D’Anoni decided that it was best to sever ties now and let the Knicks determine the best way to maximize Anthony’s skills” – because the talent that D’Antoni brings to the team (spread it out, move the ball, find the open man and shoot) was fettered by having many millions of dollars in a star that reduced the team from 5 players to 1. Last statement by one of the players: “If he holds on much longer, we might never get out of this. We might be in a position where we didn’t make the playoffs, and he said that he didn’t want that for us. He said as a team, we were talented enough to make the playoffs and make a run and that he really wasn’t getting through to us the way he wanted to.”

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