Shorty after the Clippers traded him to the Knicks in 2008, doctors discovered that Cuttino Mobley’s heart problem was more severe than he initially thought. After that, he alleges in a new lawsuit, his new team pressured him to retire in an effort to save approximately $19 million.
From ESPN New York:
The lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York contends the Knicks knew of Mobley’s condition but pushed to make the trade anyway, then sent him to specialists they knew would oppose him playing, so insurance could pay his contract and it wouldn’t count against the luxury tax.
The Knicks were trying to create salary-cap space for the summer of 2010, and the trade allowed them to move Zach Randolph‘s hefty contract. The Knicks could have voided the trade after Mobley’s test, but instead waived the physical requirement — a decision that the suit said meant $19 million through insurance payments and amounts saved under the luxury tax.
“The Knicks saved millions, and cleared room under the salary cap in their quest to retain the services of other marquis (sic) players, but Mobley’s career was effectively ended,” the suit says.
It adds that Mobley had been medically cleared to play every year of his career and had never experienced any symptoms, and that he has suffered “irreparable injury, monetary damages, mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation, and other compensable damages as a result of defendant’s discriminatory practices.”
The Knicks said they understood Mobley’s frustrations but were “extremely disappointed” in his actions.