As usually happens whenever the Knicks play a team with a big upcoming free agent, that player gets salt and peppered with questions about joining us. Last night we went up against the Memphis Grizzlies, so it was Rudy Gay’s turn in the spotlight. He doesn’t sound like someone who wants to stay in Memphis, while owner Michael Heisley is already blaming fans for not being able to pay him. From a Newsday article:
Forbes magazine recently listed Memphis as the second-most miserable city in the U.S. So you can understand why pending restricted free agent Rudy Gay had to pause when asked if he wants to re-sign with the Grizzlies.
“I wouldn’t mind it,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind staying here.”
That kind of apathy should be alarming for a franchise that seems to finally have put together a good team.
You might think, well, Gay’s quote could also be deemed hopeful rather than apathetic. Not when combined with this follow up:
“Do I think they’re going to make a commitment to me? To some extent, I do,” Gay said. “But it’s a business…so it really doesn’t matter to me which way it goes.”
Where is Gay getting such a negative idea of the Grizz’s commitment level? Could it be from Heisley himself? The dude already is distancing himself from the issue as you can see here:
“People say are you going to pay Rudy Gay? My answer to them is simply, ‘Are you going to come to the games?’” Heisley said. “If I can’t get people to come to the games, I can’t pay anybody.”
It’s tough being a multimillionaire.
Besides the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of love between the two sides, Rudy definitely gave some strong, strong indications that he’d be excited about coming to New York, as reported by the NY Daily News:
“That’s an appealing style they play,” Gay, the former UConn star, said before his Grizzlies took on the Knicks Friday night. “Every kid grows up playing like that and enjoys it. What I like about (Mike) D’Antoni’s system is that everybody is effective in it. At any time, anybody can score. So it’s something I’d look at this summer.”
[...] Talking about the Garden, Gay said: “It’s the most famous arena in the world and it’s great to play there. Every time I play there, I get chills. To play in that arena would be nice, but FedEx Forum has kind of been home for me.”
But, he admits, home is not so great.
“It’s a small market, plus we’re not on TV a lot,” he said. “So it’s kind of tough to get a name in Memphis.”
If the Knicks fail at getting one of their Top Three and instead pursue Gay (or pursue him in addition to one of those biggies), they have an advantage besides just the fact that the Grizz are cheap.
One Memphis executive said that the team is worried that the Knicks will make an offer that is “front-loaded,” meaning that it will pay Gay a significant amount of money for the first season and make it virtually impossible for the Grizzlies to match.
What makes that scenario particularly intriguing is that Gay’s salary would go down the following summer, coinciding brilliantly with Eddy Curry’s contract coming off the books. This could enable us to have even more money to offer a 2011 free agent (like say Carmelo Anthony).
Unrelated to all this happy Gay speculation, I noticed this update about Eddy Curry in the NY Post which states at the end that he has a unique, bizarre bit of anatomy (no, nothing sexual):
Eddy Curry is listed as questionable for tonight, as he battles the same bizarre right calf injury that first surfaced in training camp. Curry’s return from January left knee surgery was scrapped Wednesday night in San Antonio because of tightness in his right calf.
Curry, who hasn’t played since Dec. 17, missed training camp with a torn plantaris muscle — a muscle most of the population does not have.
This brings so many jokes rushing to my head, but I will hold back and instead ask this genuine question: Since most people don’t have this muscle, it would seem to not be too necessary… so why does it matter if it gets torn? Yeah, there’s that initial moment of pain, but like if I had an extra muscle that enabled me to wiggle my ears, it shouldn’t really effect my ability to do everything else if I ripped it in two, right? Or maybe it’s not that Curry had an additional muscle, but that this is a different one than people usually have. That could help explain why he can’t jump to get a rebound and seems to play with no heart.
…Oops, guess I couldn’t hold back all the jokes.