The Cleveland Cavaliers Extend Shawn Kemp’s Contract (1997)
As one of the great (if not underrated) stars of the late 1990’s, Shawn Kemp was extremely displeased with the Seattle Supersonics handing center Jim McIlvane a huge free agent contract, as opposed to taking care of the home-grown Kemp. Kemp demanded a trade, and was sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers prior to the 1997 season.
Cleveland game him the money he sought, in the form of a seven-year deal worth $107 million. But when the NBA lockout shortened the 1998-1999 NBA season, that’s when Kemp’s issues with substance abuse and weight gain began to destroy his once-spectacular NBA career.