Here we are again. Once again, a former player intends to make a comeback. This trend just ticks me off!
This time, it’s the former Utah Jazz player Russell who seeks to step-back on an NBA court. I don’t know what you guys think about it, but in my view it’s just ludicrous. I mean at 38 and after 3 years of retirement how can you possibly contemplate a come-back in a league where you know you’re bound to suffer physically against younger opponents? And for how much time anyway? 6 or 8 months? At best, it’s gonna be a short period of time. Don’t get me wrong, everybody is entitled to have their own wishful thinking, but in this case it just doesn’t make any sense.
Bryon Russell embodies a new trend. Being back in the game has been one the most sought-after activities for many former players over the last few years. Besides I’m fairly certain that next fall, a guy like Alonzo Mourning will try to come-back, mark my words!
Off the top of my head, a great deal of former players tried their hands at coming back or at least contemplated a return in the NBA : Charles Oakley (!), Allan Houston, Reggie Miller, Tim Hardaway, Karl Malone, Anfernee Hardaway… well I’m afraid my memory plays tricks on me so I’m gonna stop this short list here. Feel free to complete it if you want, as for me I’ll jog my memory later!
Talking about A. Hardaway, he managed to get a new gig last season (with Miami if I’m not mistaken), and well it ended up badly : he was waived in the middle of the season.
It’s worth mentionning that most of the players who seeks a come-back have always the same profile : they ended their career due to a career-threatening injury, at about 35 years.
I mean at about 35, injury or not you know your career is on the verge of being over anyway. So what’s the point of not accepting your fate? Okay they left the game in a way that was not supposed to happen, and you can bet for sure they wanted to leave the court on their own terms, but hey when you’re done, you’re done. You gotta to move on with your life, and get to grips with this new life!
More often than not, they explain this by “the love of the game”. Cute, ain’t it? Well, be sure that in backstage, the main reason is quite different and much more troublesome. “Love of the game”, my ass! Actually, just the tip of the iceberg.
It may seems hard to believe, but most of this guys have a great deal of difficulty not to loose their money once their career is over. I don’t remember precisely the numbers, but last year an official study revealed that about 60% of the former NBA players end up broke 4 to 5 years after their retirement. Yeah, I know what you guys think : its just pitiful and you gotta be quite uneducated to go belly-up. I wish I had the link of this study, but I don’t have it any more, so keep in mind Google is your best friend on the net!
Sometimes, it can be different. About 2 years ago, when Charles Oakley was seeking a comeback (at 45, yo!), some wisely suggested it was just for increasing sales of his brand-new book, which at the time was about to be released in the bookstores. How convenient! I’m sure Oakley didn’t intend to come-back all along, he just wanted his name to be heard in the medias again so that his book can take advantage of his new fame!