Now that the 2010 playoffs have proven Joe's worth, NBA GMs can rejoice. Even salivate. You could not have even asked Karl Malone to disappear more in the playoffs. A second tier superstar is finally valued at second tier money (at least I hope).
It is this overvaluing, the same one that cripples franchises (see Andre Iguodala and Gilbert Arenas, even if the gun charge never surfaced), that destroys our game. It is especially frightening that my beloved Knicks may fall into the trap that seems to have gravitational-like force.
That said, Amare Stoudemire's 42 points and 11 rebounds may have been the worst possible outcome for every NBA fan whose team has cap space. His seemingly never-ending onslaught of dunks and layups cemented his glorification, and, in only a month or two, max contract. Granted, a LeBron/Amare combination would be as lethal as any pick and roll in the NBA. Surround them with a bunch of shooters and you have LeBron's ideal team. But with a salary cap comes boundaries. LeBron and Amare sounds great on paper. But considering teams would only be able to afford the likes of Daniel Gibson and P.J. Brown to fill out the roster, we're looking at the Cleveland Cavaliers, just wearing a different uniform.
It is my hope, as far-fetched as it may be, that Amare's value will come to light. To put it simply, Amare has what few other NBA players possess: the wow effect. We love it. I love it. Monstrous dunks, ferocious rebounds, absurd athletic ability. But while this is useful 3 feet from the basket, it is worthless everywhere else. He is a blow average rebounder, defender and shooter. Yet we never bother ourselves with these details because his Steve Nash and the Phoenix offense erase them from our memories. In other words, his talent is not transparent; it hides behind the shadow of Steve Nash and the Phoenix offense. Take these two things away, and we're left with a glorified dunker. Hopefully GMs have night vision.