February 2005: Raptors pay Mourning $9M to win NBA Championship
The kidney plays a special role in the human body. As part of the urinary tract, the kidney filters waste from blood and excretes it, along with water, as urine. One kidney in particular plays a special role in Raptor history; the one transplanted into the body of Alonzo Mourning. See, while Alonzo’s new kidney is highly susceptible to failure, it also holds special powers—veto powers over NBA contracts. The kidney exerts these powers over the defenceless Mourning whenever he plays for a team that is losing. It would be this same kidney that would hose the Raptors with the most expensive golden shower in NBA history.
When Alonzo was traded to the team, few expected him to play. The unknown, however, was to what degree the Raptor front office would bungle the situation. Enter Rob Babcock and Richard Peddie. From Babcock’s perspective, Mourning would indeed play again, so the team should hold off on buying out his contract and gain leverage. Peddie disagreed, thinking Mourning would not play again, so the Raptors should immediately buyout the contract and reduce financial exposure. The two men eventually compromised, and waited two months to negotiate.
In the end, both men were right. And painfully wrong. Mourning would in fact come back to play, just not for the Raptors. He would also accept a reduced buyout, of a paltry $9M. Mourning’s kidney would go on to agree with a contract with the Miami Heat, and the Ultimate Renal Warrior would proceed to lead the league in blocked shots per minutes played, and win an NBA Championship.
With Babcock is gone, every time I piss my $10 beer out at a Raptor game, I imagine I am excreting Richard Peddie. One shake at a time.