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Luis Scola says amnesty process in Houston wasn’t easy

Oct 2, 2012, 11:49 AM EDT

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Luis Scola was one of many new players sporting a Suns jersey at the team’s media day on Monday, and while he’s of course happy to be there just like other fresh faces Michael Beasley, Jermaine O’Neal, and Goran Dragic, his journey to Phoenix — or, more to the point, his exit from Houston — wasn’t an easy one emotionally.

Scola had played all five years of his NBA career in Houston, before his contract became undesirable to a team looking to clear cap space in order to try to deal for one of the league’s superstars. His career averages of 14.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and almost two assists per game made him more than productive on the court, but financially it wasn’t in Houston’s plans to retain his services for the remainder of his contract — a deal that would have paid him in the neighborhood of $21 million over three more years.

The Rockets seemed to handle Scola’s departure the right way, being as up front as possible with him about their plans. Still, the fact that it took a few weeks for things to finally get resolved made the process a difficult one for Scola to endure.

“They called me three or four weeks before the amnesty and told me they were going to trade me, because they were pursuing some bigger trades and they needed the (salary cap) room,” Scola said. “So I knew I wasn’t going to be with them. But then the trade options that they had (fell through), so it was taking longer and longer and I started to get nervous about what was going to happen, because I already knew they needed the (cap space).

“This lasted two or three weeks, and at the end of those three weeks they finally told me they were going to amnesty me, which I took as a good thing, because it provided some closure. This whole not knowing where I was going to play was taking a toll on me, so I was happy that I finally got some closure on it, and I knew that the end was coming closer. So from that point of view, it was a relief. And then a couple of days after the amnesty, I started feeling a little sad because I’d been there for five years and it was my first team in the NBA and they were great to me. I had a lot of fun there and they made my dream come true, so (after it was done) I had a lot of good memories pop up, and it was a little hard.”

  1. joshm5683 - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Never liked him as a player, but he seems like a good guy. Sounds like a classy exit by him and the organization. Props to Houston too for being so upfront about what they were doing. I can’t say for sure, but I feel that has to go a long way with players. I think going to an organization that is honest with the players and open with them on whats going on has to be good for the players, because even if they don’t like what they hear, they know its the truth.

  2. phx1311 - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Nice read!!! Im ready for some suns bball

  3. xLith - Oct 2, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    As a Rocket’s fan, I was sad to see him go. He was one of the core guys of our blue-collar type players from the Adelman era. He plays hard every game for 4 quarters. I hope he does well with the Suns. He earns his money.

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