How Former, Current Wizards Found Out About Trades

While us fans and media types enjoy professional sports for the inherent fun of it all, for the athletes themselves, sports is a business. It is as fun to them as it is to us, but there are some parts of it that are out of their control.

Take the trade deadline, for example. We stare at our televisions, computers and phones, waiting for the next blockbuster to be announced. When a trade goes down, we get excited, tweet our incredulousness and yell at our fellow fans, but for the players, that means uprooting their lives. Thanks to Grantland's Jonathan Abrams, we now know their stories.

In Abrams' feature, he tells the respective tales of several NBA players that moved during the recent trade deadline, including several former and current Washington Wizards.

First, there was Nene, who made a name for himself with the Denver Nuggets and had invested so much in the community before being shipped to D.C.:

"A lot of things in your life, you make plans and the plans don't go the way you want them to go," Nene observed. "This is the hard part of the business."

Then, there was Brian Cook, who arrived in Washington with Nene:

"My agent told me first," Cook said. "Then after that Vinny [Del Negro] called me. They were very professional. They did a good job. A lot of times you hear on the ticker or you got a friend calling you, saying, 'Damn, man. You just got traded?' I thought it was real respectful that they called me and I just told them, 'Good job and I appreciate the opportunity.' You don't want to burn no bridges around this league."

"She was a little upset," he said about his wife. "I had been in L.A. for two years and coming home every day, playing with my kids and helping out. She has three of them all by herself right now. It's different for her right now."

Meanwhile, JaVale McGee, who took Nene's place in Denver:

JaVale McGee woke up from his pregame nap to countless text messages on his phone from family and friends. That was how he found out he was headed to Denver. Players are alerted to deals through their agents most of the time, and find out about it on SportsCenter every so often.

"My first reaction was, when do I leave?" McGee recalled.

Last, but certainly not least, there was Nick Young, who left behind the most important thing in his life -- his swag:

"We were in New Orleans," Young said. "I didn't have no clothes. I brought two outfits for the two games we had on the road. So once I got here, because I couldn't play the first game, they told me I had to get a suit or something, and I didn't have a suit. Right now, I'm wearing the same outfit. I can't be in L.A. without my swag."

"Swaggy" without his "P" is like a "q" without a "u." I hope it made it to L.A. safely.

Adam Vingan is co-founder and editor of Kings Of Leonsis, a Caps-centric blog, and is the Capitals Editor for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_KOL and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at)

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