(Since the Knicks continue to surrender second half leads and lose games I figured that we need to do something else with this space on occasion. With that in mind I've trekked through the Internets to find the latest news on some of our long-lost Knicks from happier times.)
We might need to pass the hat around this week to help one of our favorites. Former Knick Latrell Sprewell isn't doing so hot during this almost-but-not-yet recession. I'm not sure if it was because of a subprime mortgage, a copiously jeweled chalice or a luxury seafaring vessel, but somehow the catalyst behind the team's run to the 1999 NBA Finals is strapped for cash. His home is up for foreclosure and he had to sell his yacht at auction to help pay off the million+ that he owes to creditors.
Sprewell played 13 seasons in the NBA for the Warriors, the Knicks and the T-Wolves, his hometown club. He was a 4-time All-Star, but hehasn't played pro ball in a few years. He famously turned down a $21 million contract extension from the T-wolves during the '04-'05 season, quipping that he wanted more money because he "has a family to feed." Being broke, I hope at least the irony is appreciating at a better rate than whatever assets he still has.
All jokes aside, this sucks. I like Spree and I wish he would have just gotten himself back in the league after getting his bluff called a few years ago. He was the beating heart of a Knicks team unsure of itself as Patrick's injuries mounted. He was just like Renaldo Balkman, except 1,007 times better at basketball. He could defend anyone in the game, he could run the floor, he had a sense of the moment and willingly played out of position for the good of the team. A team that he led to the Finals.
I don't know if it's really his choice to stay away from the game or if he just can't get a gig. And, if he can't get a gig, I wonder how much of that has to do with that whole choking thing. Either way, the best part about Sprewell appearing in the news is a reminder that he he had named his luxury yacht "Milwaukee's Best." And, yes, he is from Milwaukee.
Stay classy, Spree.