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September NBA Free Agency, Or, The Feast of St. Giles

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This is the time of year that we like to honor St. Giles, the patron saint of cripples and beggars, whose feast day is (appropriately enough) September 1. The time of the year that the elderly, infirm, and just plain desperate of the NBA wander the league with their cups held out looking for alms from the league's GMs.

This year's celebration is beginning to resemble a George Romero film festival with Mrs. Doug Christie, Allan Houston, Vitaly Potapenko, and Gary Payton all celebrating the Holy Month by attempting to raise themselves from the dead in the name of the venerated saint.

But the elderly and infirm are also well-represented amongst this year's celebrants, with P.J. Brown, Corliss Williamson, Alan Henderson, and Troy Hudson still pulling themselves out of bed in the morning and hobbling to the phones to see if anyone wants them. With this group of senior citizens, cripples and the living dead, can a Latrell Sprewell comeback really be far behind?

When Scottie Pippen talked comeback last year we all laughed. But this summer Penny Hardaway decided to mend his fences with Shaq and return to the land of the living in Miami, then Reggie Miller considered leaving TNT's Senior Center for the hardwood and a shot at a ring in Boston, and now it's all the rage. Jackie Christie's wife Doug is out looking for a new deal, Alan Houston is 95% sure that St. Giles can resurrect his NBA career, and even Shawn Kemp and Charles Oakley are considering comebacks. No word on who's bringing the Geritol, Viagra, or Ensure. Maybe Dennis Rodman's decision to not sign with an Australian team is really a signal that he's thinking of getting in on the old folks boogie sweeping the NBA? We have great faith in the powers of the Holy St. Giles, but even his powers might be put to the test resurrecting this many careers.

The real worry is what will happen when the NBA's grumpy old referees develop a case of old age rage arguing with the old wave of grumpy old players. But maybe this will offer the NBA new cross-marketing opportunities with Depends and Oldsmobile (and their new slogan, "This is your grandfather's NBA").

The still alive and kicking P.J. Brown seems to have NBA teams interested, but so far they're not rushing to run his cup over with benjamins. After the abject failure of his rap career, Troy Hudson has discovered that Olde Tyme Religion and wants to be a pass first point guard, but even the desperate for a point guard Celtics hung up the phone. Apparently no one believes in his conversion. Or perhaps they think that even St. Giles lacks the power to heal Hudson's injury woes. The ever affable Brian Skinner is still amongst the leagues beggars, but he's healthy, so good St. Giles may have him at the bottom of the miracle list.

We're most confused about disappointed in the lack of interest in Corliss Williamson. After all, when you have a feast you need someone to eat the leftovers.

Let us all bow our heads and give thanks to St. Giles for bringing us another entertaining month while we eagerly await the opening of NBA training camp.

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About E.H. Munro

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