4. NBA takes pity on the New York Knicks after Allan Houston’s extension
Next up is a contract so bad that it actually made the NBA feel bad for the New York Knicks. New York locked down star wing Allan Houston to a six-year, $100 million contract in July 2001. The 29-year-old was coming off back-to-back All-Star selections and had become a star in New York as Patrick Ewing aged out.
The first two seasons of Houston’s new deal were impressive, and he was worth the money. He set a new career-high in scoring each season, averaging 20.4 points per game in 2001-02, then 22.5 in 2002-03. In those campaigns, Houston missed just five games.
He underwent surgery on his right knee in the 2003 offseason and was never quite the same. Two years after the procedure, he was sidelined for a combined 94 games.
His inability to get healthy became so bad that the NBA implemented an amnesty clause in the 2005 CBA. The clause allowed all 30 NBA teams to wave one player before the 2005-06 season and avoid having to pay luxury tax on his salary. It became known as “The Allan Houston Rule” because Houston was thought to be a shoo-in to be one of the first players waived.
Well, he wasn’t.
Instead, the Knicks elected to waive Jerome Williams, saving themselves $21.3 million in luxury tax payments.
As for Houston, his lucrative deal ended with his retirement. Like Williams, he didn’t suit up for the Knicks in the following campaign. He announced his decision to hang up his sneakers on Oct. 17, 2005, after playing 12 NBA seasons.