NEW YORK — I assume the completion (finally) of the Pistons-Nuggets trade required the four involved players to report to their respective teams, not just those who felt like it, namely Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups and the illustrious Cheikh Samb.
Antonio McDyess — who was waived by Denver on Monday — did not feel like it.
Six years and several months after Nuggets owner E. Stanley Kroenke (all that’s left of management from that period) approved his trade to the Knicks the 206-cm forward is still in a snit. So much so, the hypersensitive southerner with the ultra brittle sinew would rather retire than show up in Denver.
I understand completely.
Late in life when I could better afford to have principles, I rejected several lucrative jobs with the attitude, I would rather be unemployed than work for so-and-so — for me to know — or alongside so-and-so — and for you to find out.
Of course, I was under no obligation to report to work. McDyess, on the other hand, is bound by a guaranteed contract for this season and next at the barely-above-NBA-average pittance of $6,813,050 million per year.
Vivre le differentiation!
So, how come the Nuggets have nauseatingly kissed McDyess’ back fender in the hopes he would bless them with his presence?
In 2005, the league and the Players Association clarified a rule in the 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement that stipulated traded players must report within 48 hours after a deal is finalized. The amendment stated the league had the right to suspend a player who refused to join his new team.
Why was the change deemed necessary?
Because teams had long-established they didn’t have the stones to do their own dirty work.
Inmates running David Stern’s asylum, an embarrassment that became intolerable Dec. 17, 2004, when Alonzo Mourning “burned his passport” in protest after the Nets included him in a trade with the Raptors for Vince Carter.
Despite staging a sit-down strike in his South Beach sandbox, Mourning was never docked a dime from his remaining $14 million, two-year guarantee.
For reasons I’ve never grasped, the Raptors paid him $9 million to go away. On Feb. 11, 2005, he was placed on waivers.
Shortly thereafter, Mourning signed with the Heat, putting him in position to contribute to a championship — his one and only — the following season.
The lottery-bound Raptors, I realize, had no use for Mourning and vice-versa. That’s why he deserved a dishonorable discharge with no pay vs. a golden parachute an AIG exec would be proud to bank.
McDyess, on the other hand, had plenty to offer the playoff-contending Nuggets.
Vivre le differentiation!
This is why George Karl felt obliged to reach out by phone to his newly acquired asset and whisper sweet nothings in his Bluetooth — and why Carmelo Anthony was willing to do whatever it took to recruit McDyess — and why Nuggets VP Rex Chapman hoped the solid relationship they shared as Suns teammates would impact Antonio’s decision in a meaningful manner.
In the end, none of it mattered.
It’s official: Tony Parker became the first player in league history to hit the double-nickel without emitting a single bead of sweat in a double OT cherry-busting win at the expense of the Timberwolves.
His 55 points — 17 more than his previous high — 10 assists and seven rebounds (Oscar Robertson’s 56, 12 and nine was the only other time an NBA player ever has exceeded 55, 10 and five) was by far Tony’s best one-night stand.
Remove Parker, Tim Duncan and Roger Mason’s combined 111 points (43-for-78 FG) from the equation and the rest of Spurs were a nondescript 7-for-19.
“Our plan was to keep Tony out of the paint as much as possible,” Randy Wittman informed the media at the post-game press conference.
OK, that explains why various defenders kept going under the pick in spite of being scorched repeatedly. Not that the result was any dissimilar the times they went over it or switched.
Especially in the extra periods — exempting the game-tying 6-meter stiletto Parker stuck on careless Corey Brewer at the buzzer to extend matters an extra five minutes — when the 26-year-old casually sashayed past his man with a minimum of one or two deceptive dribbles, instantly infiltrated the interior and scored before Minny’s backline had sufficient time to react.
Peter Vecsey covers the NBAfor the New York Post.
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