Fox Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico polled seven NBA players. The result: all of them want to play basketball, even if it means agreeing to a 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income. Though he was not apart of the sample provided by Amico, Cavaliers big man Samardo Samuels throws his name into the hat of those who want to lace up their high-tops and start earning a living once again.
Echoing his tweet from earlier this week, Samuels sat down for an exclusive interview with a Jamaican newspaper, saying that he – perhaps not being a part of the one percent, earning slightly above the league minimum – is just ready to play basketball. Though he, like several of his teammates, is taking classes and working on his bachelor’s degree, Samuels has been doing everything he can to stay in shape and rehabilitate from the wrist injury which prematurely ended his 2010-11 season.
Now fully healthy, the Cavaliers forward is looking forward to improving off of a rookie campaign that saw flashes of brilliance occasionally clashing with a one-dimensional post presence. The unfortunate part, as has been well-documented since July, is the currently locked out state of the players.
“It has cost me around US$30,000 in salary for first two weeks,” said Samuels. “It is tough because I have been working all my life for this. I have my parents around me and so they don’t let me spend money on unnecessary stuff, and so I just buy things that I need.”
Wednesday night marked what should have been the Cavs’ first contest of the 2011-12 NBA season. Samuels should have been suiting up alongside rookies Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, ushering in the second year of Byron Scott’s tenure with the franchise – who knows, Samuels may have even unveiled his improved jump shot against the unsuspecting Eastern Conference runner-ups. Instead, the 260-pound forward is forced to work out on his own, using the facilities at Louisville rather than those in Independence.
This week has been marred with rumors that the NBPA’s Derek Fisher is in the back pocket of David Stern, an allegation which was promptly shot down like the very offer the players have yet to agree to. The two sides will meet again this weekend. Hopefully Billy Hunter sticks around a little longer than he did roughly one week earlier and the New Expression can turn the page to Season 2.