October 1998: John Wallace Speaks Out on NBA Lockout
The NBA Players Union must be thanking Christ that the NHL Players Association exists so that no one will remember just how badly the owners bitch-slapped them during the 1998/1999 lockout. The NBA players agreed to tighter salary cap rules, maximum salaries, and maximum contract lengths. Not exactly the definition of success considering the players were hoping for more money and no salary cap.
In my mind the lockout was over the moment Toronto Raptor John Wallace was forced to defend the players' position for more money on TSN's "Off The Record." The reason why John Wallace needed more money?
"You'd be surprised how quickly you can spend 4 million dollars."
Not only would this declaration go a long way toward alienating the common fan but also provide the only moment in history where a 6 foot 8, 230 pound black man looked sheepish while be berated by a professional curler.
But John Wallace's real problem wasn't that he had spent $4 million quicker than he had expected, it was that he had only made $1 million in 1998.