The NBA has become all about where a player wants to play. The entire offseason was dominated by LeBron James' tasteless dance as he left Cleveland and took his talents -- dwarfed by his ego -- to South Beach to play for the Miami Heat, along with afterthought Chris Bosh.
Chris Paul followed that with rumors that he wanted out of New Orleans, asking to be traded as soon as possible so he could join Amare Stoudemire in New York and play for the Knicks.
Now all the NBA attention -- even though we are nearly halfway through the season, mind you -- is on another player's potential move. The daily drama of where the Denver Nuggets could trade Carmelo Anthony is dominating league news.
Anthony's contract is up at the end of the year, and the trading deadline is Feb. 24. Reportedly, the New Jersey Nets -- the future Brooklyn New Yorkers -- say they are out of the Anthony begging business. But, like Paul and Eva Gabor from Green Acres, New York is where Anthony would rather be, and the Knicks top the likely list of trading partners. There are others reportedly in the running as well -- Houston, Dallas and even the Golden State Warriors.
Notice among all this speculation, you never hear one destination pop up in any discussion anywhere -- Washington.
Of course, the answer is obvious. The Wizards are a wretched franchise and have been for most of the last 30 years. They are in the early stages of ownership under Ted Leonsis. Furthermore, they appear to be a roster built to take advantage of an anticipated NBA lockout and come out on the other end in a position with money to attract star players.
But who will want to play here?
Washington is not Kansas City. It's not Buffalo. This city, by most measures, should rank as one of the most attractive places for an athlete to play. It is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that should be a more desirable location than Houston or Dallas (save for the tax issues, of course) or most of the other cities in the league.
But you never hear anyone say they want to come to Washington. This will be the challenge for Leonsis in the new NBA when a labor agreement is reached -- convincing players that Washington no longer is the elephant graveyard of the NBA, where careers go to die.
The Wizards will find themselves in the same hole the Washington Nationals were in this offseason (though the Nationals only took five years to make Washington a radioactive franchise, as opposed to three decades of destruction for the Wizards). They will have to find their Jayson Werth and overpay that player a foolish sum of money to at least send the signal that it's OK to come to Washington.
Examiner columnist Thom Loverro is the co-host of "The Sports Fix" from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN980 and espn980.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.