Cuttino Mobley played 11 serviceable seasons in the NBA with four different teams, but after being traded to the Knicks in 2008 (in the deal that freed New York of the then-horrific contract of Zach Randolph), he was forced to retire due to medical concerns.
Mobley has a serious heart ailment known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is the same condition that was linked to the deaths of Reggie Lewis and Hank Gathers. After undergoing the routine post-trade physical, Mobley was told of the severity of the condition, and decided at the time that it would be in his best interest to end his NBA career.
Times have changed, however, at least in Mobley’s mind. As he told MyFoxHouston.com (via IamaGM), he’d like to play in the league once again. But it’s going to be difficult, because teams are going to be extremely cautious about Mobley, given his diagnosis. He blames the Knicks a little bit for that, but also says that his condition isn’t nearly as severe as it could be, pointing to his lengthy playing career as evidence to support his claim.
Mobley said he is not happy with the way the Knicks handled his situation in 2008.
“At first I was cool with it because I didn’t do research on it, but then doing research and getting different opinions, then I became upset because the corporation, the big company trying to get as much money as they can and do different things like that, for me I don’t think that was right,” Mobley said.
“You either waive me, you don’t take me in, you let me go somewhere else, let me create my own destiny like I did in 1999 when I came to the Rockets. Let me create my own decisions. Don’t make the decisions for me, clogging my heads with different things.
“I’m not upset now because I know it’s a business and that’s how they treat it as a business, but it’s two and a half, three years I haven’t played. It’s been a waste.”
There’s clearly a little bitterness over how things went down with the Knicks, and maybe it’s true that Mobley could have continued to play with no consequences. But three years later, and after making countless millions over an 11-year career, if something serious were to happen to Mobley as a result of his condition during a comeback attempt, then that would be the real waste.