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Loyalty trumps everything for Antonio McDyess

Chris McCosky of the Detroit News has a great article about Antonio McDyess, who explained why he decided to come back to Detroit:

"What kept my loyalty to the Pistons was Joe," McDyess said, referring to Pistons president Joe Dumars. "Four or five years ago (2004), I was at the bottom of my career. There were pretty much just two teams that wanted me and these guys were coming off a championship. But they wanted me even though I had a bum knee and hadn't played in a year or two.

"Joe took that chance on me and gave me another chance at basketball and allowed me to start my career all the way back over, from the bottom to the top again. I just wanted to repay him for that."

Certainly McDyess looked at the standings before re-signing with the Pistons last Tuesday. He saw Boston and Cleveland looking more like championship-worthy than the Pistons now.

"I don't want to be jumping from team to team chasing that ring," he said. "The ring is not guaranteed. Even if I went to the best team in the league, Boston, the Lakers, whoever, I just feel like anything can happen in the playoffs. I know that, and I know this team. Anything can happen."

When you think about this, it's a little crazy. Not to generalize, but the common perception of professional athletes is that they feel entitled, but this is the exact opposite. No rationale person in the world would have held it against McDyess if he felt at least slightly betrayed after being traded, but despite it all, he was still grateful for getting a second chance five summers ago.

If you're a fan of McDyess, you'll definitely want to read the entire article, which includes an amusing (and yet kind of sad) story about why he re-signed with the Nuggets in 1999.