Rooting for free agents that left Edmonton, Travis Daniels edition

Growing up watching Stampede Wrestling with my father, the script was simple to follow. There were good guys and bad guys. You cheered the “faces” and booed the “heels”. Honestly that logic carried through to the Oilers, the Green & Gold, and the Trappers (Google that younger generation). What was once a clear line in the sand as to whom you rooted for and against has now become muddled for Edmonton basketball fans.

Travis Daniels is now formerly of the Edmonton Stingers. On March 16th, the free agent signed with arguably the Stingers biggest rival the Saskatchewan Rattlers.

“I’m very happy to be joining the Rattlers for the upcoming season…I’m excited to get the ball rolling on a new team with a winning pedigree,” said Travis Daniels in the Rattlers press release. The Rattlers were the team that ended the Stingers 2019 Championship aspirations hence the insinuation they are the Club’s greatest rival.

I cannot be the only fan that wants to feel angry and a slight bit betrayed by Daniels. Yes logic prevails and understands the game is a business. No I don’t wish any bad luck to the man. (Note: you should never wish harm to anyone under any circumstance period) I just wish he had stayed.

If you are angrier than I, here’s my attempt to diffuse you and keep you on the side of rooting for Mr. Daniels despite his choice of jersey in 2021.

“When you hear Travis Daniels tell his story, you would likely understand if he chose to walk down a different path in life. From the moment he arrived into this world, 27 years ago, Daniels has faced many obstacles, challenges and heartbreak. Kids like him aren’t expected to succeed. Kids who’ve endured all he has, often end up on the streets, in jail or dead. But he never gave up.”

Above is how the Jason Hills article from July 2019 begins as he chronicles Daniels’ journey to the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL).

A Facebook page called “Stingers Zone” summarizes Daniels’ 2020 perfectly:

Travis started the summer series on a slower note, but quickly picked up his game throughout the series. By the end of the season, Daniels led the league in blocks per game, and had become an elite scorer for the Stingers. But it wasn’t so much the numbers Daniels put up that made this Summer Series incredible for him.

During the early phases of the Series, it was revealed that Daniels’ sister had tragically passed away. Faced with the opportunity to leave the team and mourn with the inability to return, or play through it with the Stingers, Daniels chose to play on with a heavy heart.

Daniels put on an incredible show being one of the best defenders, scorers and big men in the league. His step back three pointer was one of the most memorable game winners in the Summer Series for the Stingers.”

So how does one deal with a two-time first team All-Star (note for newer fans, the league is only two years old) switching teams? My hope is that upon his return to “The Hive” (July 8th) he is greeted with a hearty ovation. My hope is that the Stingers always defeat the Rattlers but that Daniels earns himself a third First Team All-Star nomination.

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