In 2001, The New York Knickerbockers signed Allan Houston to a Maximum deal, paying him more than $20 million per year. While Houston was a talented player, he missed 20 games in 2003, 62 games in 2004, and was forced to wave the white flag and retire in 2005 due to a knee injury.
Today as the Assistant to President and General Manager Donnie Walsh, Houston help construct a similar contract for a scoring power forward in Amare Stoudemire. The contract, worth a total of $99.7 million for 5 years, now makes Stoudemire the richest citizen of Lake Wales, Florida. The Question is, was it a smart move or did the Knicks just duplicate the same mistake they made nearly a decade ago? Steve Kerr thinks it is the latter.
Kerr, who just resigned as president and general manager of the Phoenix Suns, told the Associated Press during the off-season:
He’s had four knee surgeries, including a microfracture. You’ve seen what’s happened over the last few years with guys like Tracy McGrady and Jermaine O’Neal — the guys who come out of high school and play huge minutes right away. Their clock ticks a lot faster and they get to 29, 30, and they really start to slow down. I think you’ve even seen it a little bit with KG and Kobe last year although both guys really turned it on in the playoffs. But because of that, with Amare, I think he’s got a few really good years left in him. You know, years four, five and six though, if he can’t go and can’t produce, now you’re really tied up and locked down with a bad contract and that can be a major problem.
That's coming from the mouth of the man who watched Stoudemire play day after day while they were both in the Valley of Sun! If that does not scare you, maybe nothing else will considering the fact that Kerr is one of the more classy, politically correct guys we have in the league.
The Nets, on the other end, after being struck out in free agency, decided to go with plan Z. They paid $35 million to Travis Outlaw, an athletic SF, $12 million to both sharpshooting SG Anthony Morrow and two-time NBA champion PG Jordan Farmar, and $10 million to C Johan Petro, a young, athletic seven-footer from France.
Nets fans complain that The Nets overpaid, especially on Outlaw and Petro, but in two year, they might start celebrating that Soudemire is a Knick and not a Net.