Many jokes have been made this summer about the retirement of 15-year NBA veteran Antonio McDyess’ retirement taking the San Antonio Spurs from one of the oldest NBA teams to one of the youngest.
Sans the 6-9 forward, the Spurs are currently the eighth youngest team in the NBA. But just as McDyess’ AARP membership and Modern Maturity subscription may be put on hold, that number could also change for the Spurs as the guaranteed salary deadline on McDyess’ 2011-12 contract has been extended, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
McDyess’ deal called for him to be paid $5.2 million next season unless the Spurs waived him by midnight EST on Thursday. With the NBA owners officially calling for a lockout of the players, beginning at 12:01 a.m. EST today, the agreement allows the Spurs to wait for the league and its players union to hammer out a new agreement before they are forced to waive a player they still believe can help their team if he wants to continue playing.
While McDyess has said several times that he is leaning toward retirement, this gives him more time to think the decision over and perhaps more time for the Spurs to convince the former all-star to lace up his size 14 sneakers for a 16th season.
I, for one, would not be against McDyess returning next season. He showed grit, passion and determination in the playoffs that have made him a fan favorite in all his NBA stops.
The Spurs could also use some help up front, and while a shot-blocking, lane-filling center is still very much needed, McDyess’ leadership along with what he contributes on the floor would be reason enough to welcome him back for another season. In the playoffs, when the Spurs looked for answers when defending Zach Randolph, there was the 36-year-old McDyess, playing just about the best defense against Randolph I’d seen all season.
The NBA lockout, while not ideal, would also afford McDyess extra rest and rehab time heading into another season.
For the first time in a long time, McDyess certainly has time on his side.