Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 at 1:53 pm  |  51 responses

Eddy Curry, ‘Poster Boy’ For NBA Lockout

With several albatross contracts handed out over the past few seasons (Rashard Lewis, Eddy Curry, Gilbert Arenas, etc…), a prominent negotiating point for the owners in the next collective bargaining agreement is the salary cap. Owners are basically demanding that the new agreement features smaller salaries, thereby protecting teams from throwing away millions of dollars on players like Curry who notably fail to produce. From the NY Daily News:

“When the league imposed its second lockout in 13 years last week, over a contract dispute that won’t be resolved anytime soon, that particular issue was mentioned several times by commissioner David Stern and his deputy, Adam Silver: They’re calling it pay for performance.

‘When we had our first meeting two years ago with the players, we said, ‘we don’t believe we’re distributing the $2 billion among the 450 players in the most efficient way right now,”Silver said during the news conference to announce the lockout. ‘We think we can do a better job matching pay for performance.’

It’s an old bug-a-boo for the league, with Curry being only the latest prime example of how teams throw away their money. Due to assorted minor injuries and his failure to get into shape, he played only 10 games over his last three seasons in New York, while earning more than $31 million. When you do the math, it’s astounding that Curry made in excess of $3 million a game.

Curry has to take a lot of the blame for his failure to get on the court. But the misspent money was all part of his fully-guaranteed, six-year, $60-million deal that the Knicks president at the time, Isiah Thomas, executed in a sign-and-trade with Chicago, and Garden CEO Jim Dolan was more than happy to sign off on.

Dolan never used a ‘pay for performance’ standard when judging Thomas, who threw away more of his boss’ millions with a few other notably bad signings. Famously, Thomas gave Jerome James $30 million in a free-agent deal and James ended up playing only 89 games for the Knicks, with only four games over his last two years.

The Knicks were not alone in practicing fiscal irresponsibility and bringing on calls for pay for performance.

In 2007, Orlando signed Rashard Lewis to a 6-year, $126-million free-agent deal, overpaying by $60 million for a player who gave them only one All-Star season. The Magic finally unloaded his contract but took another celebrated one in return when they acquired Gilbert Arenas. Despite Arenas’ knee troubles and flaky character, the Wizards gave him $111 million in 2008.”

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  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    Yeah, I’d rather use Isiah as the posterboy. Or hell, put the Knicks braintrust pre-Walsh on the poster instead.

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    In other words, who’s the real fool: the man who throws away a $100 bill, or the man who picks it up?

  • Heals

    @M Cho, Bucket! Yup it’s all JJames and Eddy’s fault, they should of turned down the $$$, but instead they wanted to team-up and destroy the salary cap flexibility/earning potential of some 22 NBA franchises. Just selfish if you ask me…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The Poster Boys for this Lockout are the Owners. You know, the guys who offered these contracts that they are so against. Its like me giving a child some candy, and then putting the kid in timeout for enjoying it.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Check out your e-mail…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    There isn’t much of anything to see on there homie. Just says your hometown.

  • http://fivemag.de Speedy

    The owners just want to be secure of the dumb decission making of their frontoffices.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    THe owners sign off on every decision the front office makes.

  • MikeC.

    @Speedy – most owners require their sign-off on major moves like giving Curry $60mil. GMs typically have freedom to make small and medium moves, but the big contracts and league-shaking trades almost always require the owner’s thumbs up. This comes down to GMs being afraid of losing their jobs if they don’t retain or upgrade talent, so they overpay so they can keep their jobs. The owners trust their basketball people and sign off on the deals. Then Eddy Curry breaks a yoga ball by sitting on it because yoga balls are meant for humans and not dumptrucks.

  • MikeC.

    BTW, I’m not mad at Curry for taking the money. I wasn’t even mad at Isiah for giving it to him (for the first 2 years anyway). Curry played no D, and couldn’t rebound unless the ball came to him. However, he was turning into a beast on the block. Quick feet, soft hands, big and strong. It all went downhill when D’Antoni came to down and Curry didn’t fit the system. Curry got sick in training camp (from a tattoo infection I think) and missed weeks. Not his fault, but still a dumb thing to have happen. Where it becomes Curry’s fault is that he let himself get out of shape, then got hurt when he came back. Lather, rinse, repeat. He never worked to stay in shape. He wasn’t going to be the starting C in D’Antoni’s system. Curry’s job was to stay in shape and play well when he got minutes so he could have some value in a trade. He didn’t stay in shape. That’s where my dislike comes in. The dude had tons of personal problems off the court. If those problems are so bad that he couldn’t concentrate on working out for a couple hours/day to stay in shape, then he should have retired.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Shouldn’t the “poster boy” be a horrible owner? Like say, James Dolan? Lol.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Wow, I’m surprised it went this far. Hell, I’ll do it- Eddy Curry- Poster boy for Popeye’s chicken… (there)

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Ah, the Eddy Curry trade. Netted the Bulls Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas. Thank you, Knicks.
    And that Tyrus Thomas trade with Charlotte might net us another lottery pick too.
    Thank you, MJ.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    If you’re still here, thanks for the info.
    Try the “wall” section of the page.

  • underdog

    If the Heat could fine Antoine Walker based on his body fat, how come the Knicks couldn’t do the same? Oh, they forget to write this term in Eddy’s contract? Too bad. One more thing, didn’t get Gil injured AFTER he sined his big contract? Because he was ballin’ out of his damn mind before that big pile of cash was offerd to him…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    That’s as stupid as blaming college players for being 1 and done guys. Nobody in there right mind is going to blame players for taking that kind of cash. This is stupid. July is supposed to be a good month for sports…now I have to follow baseball…barf

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla


  • Riggs

    why would you make eddy curry the poster boy? make james dolan the poster boy for signing off on the stupid a*s contract in the first place. Matter of fact, make him the poster boy for the last few years of knicks f*ckemups.

  • bike

    There is not, nor ever has been, any NBA player truly worth 10 million a year. Cut their max salaries back to something reasonable. The stars will still make plenty with sneaker companies, endorsements, etc.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    I’m fine with the owners cutting player salaries in the new CBA if it results in a corresponding reduction in ticket prices. Somehow I am less than convinced about that happening.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Sheeeeeeeeit, f*ck the owners. Those clowns are trying to place the blame on the players when they are the ones writing checks that their a** can’t cash.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’m always intrigued by people who adamantly call for caps on how much professional athletes can earn without a similar cap for owners. Apparently capitalism is only some folks.

  • Brahsef

    @Bike….LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Melo, and any other superstar player is worth way more than their yearly salary. It’s a star league and if there weren’t stars the game would fall apart.

  • doyouwantmore

    You guys worship the players a little too much. The owners aren’t worse people just because they have more money. Favoring a man because he has less money is just as evil as favoring a man because he has more money. – - – Or how about the fact that the players get paid to do what they love and are not satisfied with that, while we flip burgers, dig ditches, and waste our lives scraping by? The greed is equally shared between owners and players. – - – You guys don’t favor the players union because they are justified, you favor them because they are objects of a corrupt media’s worship, while rich billionaires are objects of a corrupt media’s scorn. Stop being a filter for the corrupt media and think for yourself.

  • doyouwantmore

    Oh, who am I kidding? Cliche Guevara shirts will always be trendy.

  • doyouwantmore

    brahsef: It’s only a star league because star-struck fans don’t enjoy the game. They enjoy stargazing. I’d watch pro-level basketball if they had bags on their heads.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    So, you support a cap on how much players should make?
    Or, you believe that the owners have been honest and forthcoming about the conditions that led to them initiating a lockout?
    Having money is not a crime. But it appears to be one if you’re 6’5″ with a killer jumpshot. Then you don’t deserve your money, while the person who owns the team you play for does, and the people who comment on TV about the team you play for do, and the people who write in magazines and newspapers about the way you play do as well.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Doyouwantmore, the players don’t set the market. We aren’t favoring the player because they make less money. We are favoring the players because they don’t control what they get offered that’s why it is called a MARKET. But the Owners do and they decide how much they want to spend, setting the market price for the players. Also, the majority of owners that do have an issue with the current system, are owners that bought their way into the NBA. Like Robert Sarver, who wants the current system changed so bad he has been pushing for a lockout since 2008, despite the fact that he owned one of the few teams that consistently was making money. How would you feel if some person bought the chain that just so happens to be the place where you work, then a couple years pass and he realizes he vastly overpaid for the joint, now he wants to change the rules of the whole company, by taking away 30% the money you have been making over the past decade, despite the FACT that the company has actually GROWN since he took over. How would you feel? smh, its not about how much money these guys make, its about the fact that the owners REFUSE to take responsibility for the decisions that they make.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    From what I found through Google, Wilbon’s last deal with ESPN and ABC was for four years and $8 million. I would imagine all the “name” guys at ESPN are pulling down nice six figure salaries with some making millions.
    And all they do is talk about sports. I can’t understand how people are outraged at what players make, but aren’t upset about all these other people. Something wrong there.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Personal responsibility is only important when it’s the other guy’s turn to be responsible.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    More importantly, we favor the players because they are the product we pay to see. Nobody goes to Knicks games to see James Dolan or Lakers games to see Jerry Buss. Players are not like assembly line workers at a GM plant who are essentially replaceable. There is only one LeBron and one Kobe, and for that matter even only one Brian Cardinal. There are not thousands of people waiting on the streets who can come in and perform their jobs as well as they can. They deserve the lion’s share of the revenue the NBA generates.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Wilbon makes that much money just to work for ABC/ESPN to give his journalistic opinion? What’a dream come true for an NBA fan that must be. People that are outraged at the players cannot possibly be looking at this situation logically. Or understand it.

  • Saku 39

    I’m indifferent on a hard cap, but I think something should be done about guaranteed contracts. It shouldn’t be easy to cut a player like in the NFL, but maybe make it cheaper to buy out a contract. If a player no longer is putting in the work, they don’t deserve their contract anymore.

  • hushabomb

    @Saku. That’s a rational answer. Make sure less money is guaranteed up front. It should be like a shoe deal, if you make numbers or win games or get the team to the playoffs, then more money is given.

  • Heals

    @No thanks I’ve had enough, it’s not player worship it’s an understanding for how the league got in this situation. Corrupt media influence, what, what, c’mon save your rant for the business/corporate CEO’s making more than their entire employment base…

  • JL

    owners just trying to find excuses to cut player salaries.

  • Doctor J

    I think the league should restrict player salaries to the point where they will not lose their stars to Europe. Perhaps they could include a clause stating that if they left the NBA to play to Europe they can never return to the NBA. I also think there should be a base salary for players and bonuses based upon performance. For Eddy Curry lets say the base salary is 3 million dollars with bonuses going up to 10 million. Sounds fair to me.

  • al29

    Sorry- 126 million over 6 years for Rashard Lewis is only a 60 million overpayment? Even 66 million would have been too much for him.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre


  • MikeC.

    @Dacre – they tried to clone him, but they ended up with Brian Scalabrine.

  • JoeMaMa

    You can’t group owners together into one value set, just like you can’t do the same with players. Kobe makes $25+million/year, while many other make 2, 3, 4 million/year. Jerry Buss can jump into the luxury tax, because his team’s in a huge market, he’s got a massive TV deal, and Lakers merch sells. Now go to the Bucks. Small market, few tv dollars, less revenue streams. Everyone knows that winning games = more money (cash playoff incentives, playoff tv money, more merch being sold, etc.), so the small market owners take chances on a player who they think will lead them to the 2nd round, conf finals. If that player doesn’t work out, he still gets his money (and good for him), but the team’s bottom line suffers. They operate at a loss. You can say this for several teams: Charlotte, NO, Milwaukee, Sacramento, Memphis, Minnesota, Atlanta…it’s a difficult system for many teams. Desperate owners bid against another desperate owner, or worse, a big market spender team (LA, NY, Philly, CHI, now NJ), in an attempt to stay relevant and bring in season ticket holders. Most of the owners look at this and think “I made millions upon millions through X, Y, and/or Z. But this system sucks for me, and I’m losing cash. Bad business atmosphere. It’s gotta change!” Which is why, as always, the owners will win. Many would rather lose a season (or two) and absorb some ill will from the players/public in order to set up a more profitable system. Many have multiple revenue streams, and can afford the layoff. Many players, however well they’re paid, will start to crack, despite their current strong stance. I’m not repping the owners, or the players. Just giving some much needed perspective.

  • doyouwantmore

    @NBK – I understand and you make really great points as far as the legalities and rights of the players and owners. But I’m asking you to stop thinking legalistically and start thinking principally.

  • http://nguniblog.gkogko.co.za Nguni P.

    You can’t blame the players for not spending your money wisely. It’s an investment. No one has a guarantee when they invest. You put your money in and hope for the best. These owners are full of it!!

  • Garrett

    That’s a big poster…

  • JC

    to owners, if you think this guy is going to be Eddy Curry, don’t pay him, let other teams pick up Curry’s paycheck. why is that so hard for owners NOT paying Eddy Curry ?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    The principle is: the owners are causing a lockout because they lack self control. What don’t you get, the players as a group are just saying yes to raises basically, would you turn down a raise at your work?

  • http://www.myphotobook.de/ Poster Boy

    “It’s an old bug-a-boo for the league, with Curry being only the latest prime example of how teams throw away their money. Due to assorted minor injuries and his failure to get into shape, he played only 10 games over his last three seasons in New York, while earning more than $31 million. When you do the math, it’s astounding that Curry made in excess of $3 million a game.”

    Now i understand, we here in Germany wonder about it. Our basketball players never earn so much money.


    Everyone with a brain knew that the Lewis, Arenas, E. Curry and even this off season Joe Johnson contracts were retarded (Hey I love Joe J one of my favorite players but he isn’t worth a max contract) and yet the owners STILL signed them to these moronic contracts. You CANNOT blame the players for taking the money, thats ridiculous.

  • Jymmah

    Blame Management for these Huge contracts to unproven players… Owners and GMs handed these fat contracts out

  • TimberKittiesChamps2012

    Most fans believe that the owners lack the self control ofering max money to role players but the truth is, self control is not the problem. The problem is that the owners offer those insane amounts of money because if they don’t others will. For example Joe Jonhson doesn’t deserve a max money deal but if Atlanta didn’t gave him the maximum he would have taken his talents to NY… Without Johnson the Hawks wouldn’t made the playoffs, ticket sales would have plummeted and all other merchants as well so the losses would be bigger. How do we fix this system? I believe a hard cap won’t help that much… What is needed is performance based contracts. You play well you get money, you play poorly you don’t. Revenue sharing- if One team gets a 200M TV deal, 5o% stays with the Lakers the other 50% is divided equally among the other 29 teams…

  • Yesse

    Can’t really blame Eddy for it. Don’t give him fully guaranteed contracts if you dont trust him.