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The Contract: 6 years, $24 million.
The Scenario: “Ahhh! The Chicago Bulls are too good!” This was the typical response of the other 28 front offices after the Bulls gored their way to 72 wins and another NBA championship.
The Knicks weren’t having any fun losing in the Eastern Conference playoffs every year. With Pat Riley’s sudden airlift to South Beach, the Knicks moved quickly to quell any disbelief in their ability to compete without their Hall of Fame head man.
Step No. 1: Promise the coaching job to Jeff Van Gundy, but rent Don Nelson for 59 games!
Step No. 2: Sign Detroit Pistons guard and “Dream Shakers” star Allan Houston to reasonable $42 million deal (SOLD!).
Step No. 3: Ignore Kenny Anderson (7 years, $50 million) and sign New Jersey Nets point guard Chris Childs to $24 million (HUH?????)
Step No. 4: Winning???? (Curse you, Miami Heat fight of 1997! That was our best team!)
The Result: Other than the epic cold cock of Kobe Bean Bryant en route to receiving the “Good Guy Award” from the New York Press Photographers Association (how awesome is this!), Chris gave us solid backup point guard play and the always easily measured stat of “true grit.”
Good enough for $1-2 million perhaps (under the ancient CBA), but for $4 million? Nah buddy. Not when Kenny Anderson could have been had for $7 million.
The Grade: One Thumb Down.