This season, there is hope around the New York Knicks. Amar’e Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, Anthony Randolph all running Mike D’Antoni’s exciting system. That should be fun.
It hasn’t been that way for years around Madison Square Garden. Bad decisions to take on (or give out) huge contracts to players past their prime (or without a prime) left the franchise in a huge hold and fans frustrated.
Going into this round of Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, Stern told Alan Hahn of Newsday he doesn’t want a repeat of what happened to the Knicks somewhere else.
“One of our generalized goals in collective bargaining is to come up with a system in which teams are not doomed by their past mistakes for an inordinate amount of time, so fans can have hope,” Stern said.
That makes some sense.
But there is a line to walk here — there needs to be a consequence for bad decisions and handing out bad contracts. There cannot be a get out of jail free card. Part of the sport is played by the general managers — and guessing (or second guessing) along with them is part of the fun for us fans. It’s the draw of fantasy sports.
If, hypothetically, you are the Atlanta Hawks and you give a six-year max deal to your best player even though you know by the end of that deal he will be drastically overpaid and a shell of himself on the court, you should have to pay a price. Okay that’s not so hypothetical. But the point is if you give out a contract like that, you should not have an automatic out after a couple years.
There’s a line to walk. But all to often what the owners really want out of the CBA negotiations is a way out of their own bad decisions.