Brian Cardinal: The Man, The Myth, The Contract

I was at work last night and a couple of us were talking about the Timberwolves. I was really puzzled at how a player like Brian Cardinal, who the Wolves traded for this offseason, could have received a six-year, $39 million contract in 2004 by the Memphis Grizzlies.

Cardinal was coming off a solid season with Golden State in 2003-04, averaging 9.6 points per game and earning votes as the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

But a six-year deal? Really?

So I started searching the Internet and came across this story courtesy of the Indianapolis Star’s Mark Montieth.

Here’s the section on Cardinal:

An exceptionally well-connected league insider once told me the story of how Brian Cardinal got his mid-level. Seems Memphis owner Michael Heisley, frustrated by general manager Jerry West’s lack of activity, walked into West’s office one day and asked why he hadn’t signed anyone yet. So an exasperated West picked up his phone, called Cardinal’s agent and offered the mid-level on the spot. Then he turned to Heisley and said something along the lines of "There, you happy now?"

Isn’t that amazing? It’s almost too unbelieveable to be true. Except that it’s the Grizzlies, so that lends more creedence to the story.