It’s off to SoCal and an AAU tournament - the first that son Alex will perform before NCAA coaches. No pressure on him. How he does could determine the course of his life - for the next 50+ years. Relax and enjoy it. Jack’s Blog will return Sunday.
Yeah, it’s good news - for David Lee. We often hear about “character” guys in professional sports. David Lee is the poster child for character guys. No one with the talent Lee possesses and the effort he exerts - every night - should be stuck in such a mess as is the current Bockers. Now that they’ve shelled out a max contract for Stoudamire, the Knicks will be forced to let Lee go. Hooray for Lee!
Some have asked why Amar’e would go to a club like the Knicks - a perennial loser with awful chemistry, led by Stoudamire’s former coach (whom he butted heads with often in Phoenix) and with no one at the point closely resembling Steve Nash? Amar’e is considered a defensive liability - so that would explain why he’d want to play for Mike D’Antoni, a brilliant offensive mind who feels defense is something to be tolerated until you can get the ball back. As for his feelings for Nash, please see my 7/1/10 post regarding Amar’e and it will explain why he doesn’t mind leaving his meal ticket. Hint: I think he felt if anyone was anyone’s meal ticket, he (Amar’e) was the benefactor.
Money is the one word answer that explains his decision. In most players’ minds, that’s what matters. “Rings” may separate players from each other but money is what separates them from the rest of society - especially the “haters” as they’re referred to. Teachers are often placed in that category. And why shouldn’t money be a determining factor? After all, only one team is going to win the championship and each team begins the year as a 29:1 underdog.
Plus, should there be a lockout after next season, as many expect, Stoudamire doesn’t exactly possess an abundance of skills outside of those that make him one of the game’s best power players, so to lock in that kind of cash sets him up for life. All his talk at the press conference about the tradition of the Knicks, being in New York and winning championships means squat when someone is putting a nine-figure deal in front of you. Ditto for Joe Johnson and his agent’s spiel about how, now that Joe inked a max deal - 6 years for $120 million (put your arms around those numbers), his next move is to woo other stars to join him in Atlanta. Yeah, Joe, the city that’s possibly the worst major market professional sports city in America. One of the reasons you said you were looking to move. Could leaving approximately $30 mil on the table had you signed anywhere else have been a factor in you choosing to stay with the Hawks?
Money means a lot to a good portion of society, more so in the NBA because, paraphrasing Mark Victor Hanson:
“Some people tie their self-worth to their net worth.”