(l-r : Allan Houston, aka “The Old Allan Houston”, Claudia Schiffer in James Toback’s unwatchable “Black & White”, 1990)
While we might be on the brink of losing two weeks of the NBA regular season (or worse), the New York Daily News’ Mitch Lawrence provides a glimpse inside the ongoing labor negotiations, with a grim reminder of Gilbert Arenas’ precipitous decline.
It was not surprising that when an amnesty clause was discussed between owners and players – a salary-cap lifeline for teams looking to shed a terrible contract – Arenas was viewed as the poster child for such a provision. Although he still doesn’t turn 30 until this coming January, who would want to pay him in excess of $19 million this coming season, almost $21 million next season and $22 million for 2013-14? Probably not his own team, for starters.
In these negotiations, which have broken down indefinitely over the money split, Arenas has taken the place of Allan Houston, whose name was linked to a similar clause in the previous collective bargaining agreement. Once suspended 50 games for his illegal and reckless use of guns with Javaris Crittenton, Arenas has replaced Houston as the face of bad contracts.
But a Knick could still be represented in a new rule, as owners are demanding a “Carmelo Anthony rule.” Such a rule would make it harder for stars like Anthony to force their way out of town and still be rewarded for it by signing a mega-deal extension with a new team, as Anthony did with the Knicks. The proposed rule would wipe out a player’s so-called “Bird rights,” which entitles him to a lucrative extension, if he didn’t get traded by a certain date. In other words, players like Anthony wouldn’t be able to get his cake and eat it, too.