In the good news, bad news department, the New York Knicks found out this weekend that backup center Marcus Camby won’t follow in the footsteps of Jason Kidd.
After another injury plagued season in a Knicks uniform, some felt that like Kidd, the 39-year old Camby would also elect retirement, but that’s not the case at all as Camby is committed to returning to the Knicks for next season and likely one more following that.
The Knicks were criticized last offseason for becoming the oldest team in NBA history, as the plan was obviously flawed.
With four players who began the season at 38 years of age or older (Camby, Kidd, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas), Camby appears like he will be the last dinosaur standing.
Camby’s agent Richard Kaplan told ESPN’s Jared Zwerling:
“The game plan is still the same,” Kaplan said. “There’s no reason to believe he won’t be back and won’t take on a greater role next season.”
First off, it is awful hard to see Camby, who will turn 40 next March, having a bigger role next season.
The health is always a concern but even when Camby was healthy, Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson elected to bury him on the bench, even when he could have used his size against bigger opposition. It’s awfully hard to think Woodson will have a sudden change of heart next year, especially since it looks like the Knicks will continue to go small.
Camby only played in 24 games last season, averaging 1.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in about 10 minutes per game. He battled through injuries — including left plantar fasciitis toward the end of the season. He only saw the court for about three minutes in the postseason, including only 12 seconds against the Pacers. However he was proclaimed completely healthy in the playoffs and wasn’t used despite the Knicks getting crushed on the glass by the Indiana Pacers and allowing numerous second chances.
Despite being 40, Camby is still a guy who could help off the bench in terms of defending and rebounding, areas the Knicks need help in badly.
But Woodson has to play him for that to happen.
But the thing is why wouldn’t Camby come back?
He was given a gift of a contract from the Knicks. Even Camby said last offseason that he was surprised when the Knicks gave him a three-year, $13.15 million contract at age 38.
The veteran is signed through the 2014-15 season (final season of deal only partially guaranteed), so it makes sense for him to still collect a good paycheck while likely not having to do much on the court.
While Camby’s contract looks just like another awful Knicks contract right now, only time will tell if it becomes a decent contract or not.
With him unlikely to stay healthy for an entire season and the defensive coach burying a guy who can help block shots and rebound on the bench, I wouldn’t count on Camby doing too much more in 2014 than he did in 2013- collecting a paycheck.
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