A modest proposal for the N.Y. Knicks

Over the years, I have played thousands of basketball games. No one ever has paid me to play.

The other day I found a quarter on the gym floor. This is the closest I have come to receiving compensation. But, as a teammate observed, "Money found on the floor is not the same as being paid."

I would like to change this situation and hereby make a proposal to the New York Knicks: With a 27-45 win-loss record, this has not been a good year for you. The team salary cap is making it hard for you to attract new talent. You need more financial wiggle room. Take me in place of an over-priced player.

I am willing to play for $100 a game. This would surely make me the lowest-paid player in the history of the National Basketball Association. I offer to do this because I love to play the game and I need extra cash now that I am on Social Security. (Oh, did I forget to tell you? I reached retirement age in January.)

A word about myself: I'm lean, just short of 6-foot-4, and a good rebounder. I would bring experience and maturity to the team, invaluable assets in high-pressure games.

In the "experience" department, I was captain of my high school team. The New York Post selected me as "substitute center" on the 1955 New York City Private School All Star Basketball Team.

Other pluses: I am not a whiner or a flagrant fouler. My fouls are artistic, a slight push of the shooter's arm, a gentle shove under the basket to snare a rebound.

I am articulate and would do well in post-game television interviews. I am respectful of coaches and referees, and I don't sulk.

I enjoy traveling. Most of my travel has been abroad, as in 15 trips to Venice. I have never been to Detroit, Cleveland, Houston, or Milwaukee.

Being a Knick would give me a chance to see my country.

Having a gray-haired team member would attract new fans to basketball. In our society, too much attention is devoted to wooing young people.

On the debit side, my weakness is a lack of speed. It takes time for me to get my shot off.

Eager to play and ready to serve, I remain,

Respectfully yours, etc.

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