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Gobble awards (cont.)

Posted: Wednesday November 22, 2006 12:33PM; Updated: Friday November 24, 2006 1:27PM
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Funny Money

• While some NBA players are making much more than they're worth (hello Raef LaFrentz and your $11.5 million salary), there are others being paid to do nothing but sit on their couches. Due to the Allan Houston rule, their salaries don't count against the team's salary cap, but these pros are still being paid a pretty penny to do nothing. A list of the worst offenders:

Player Team Salary
Allan Houston Knicks $20.7 million
Brian Grant Lakers $15.6 million
Jamal Mashburn Sixers $10.9 million
Derek Anderson Blazers $9.7 million
Shandon Anderson Knicks $8.5 million
Jonathan Bender Pacers $7.8 million
Jerome Williams Knicks $6.4 million
Vin Baker Celtics $5.3 million
Salary information from Hoopshype.com

• The owners of eight teams -- Memphis, Portland, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Utah, New Orlean, Indiana and Minnesota -- wrote a letter in September to David Stern asking the league to adopt revenue sharing because "current economic system works only for larger-market teams and a few teams that have extraordinary success on the court and for the latter group of teams, only when they experience extraordinary success. The rest of us are looking at significant and unacceptable annual financial losses." The letter, which was revealed in the Seattle Times, stated that in 2005-06, 17 of the league's 30 teams were profitable after luxury-tax payments and nearly one-third of the league owners reported heavy financial losses.

Mel Simon and his wife, Bren, donated $50 million to the Indiana University Cancer Center, one of the largest donations ever to a cancer research program in the nation. Simon is co-owner, along with his brother Herb, of the Indiana Pacers.

Scanning the Blogs

• We understand that Knicks fans were less than pleased during the NBA draft last June when the team selected unheralded Renaldo Balkman with the 21st pick. One fan went so far as to start a blog called BENCHRENALDO. But what happens when that aforementioned blogger realizes that Balkman isn't as bad as they thought. He writes an apology to the Knicks rookie for trashing him. At least he admitted it.

• The only thing better than a blog dedicated to a young and relatively unknown NBA player is when that player sports a T-shirt promoting that very blog. Especially when the blog, PERKISABEAST is named after 3-pointer ace Kendrick Perkins.

• Never thought you'd see LeBron dunk on Tim Duncan? SUNSGOSSIP has other ideas. 

Say What?

• "We Want Foyle! We Want Foyle!"
-- Golden State Warriors crowd during the end of a recent landslide victory over the Pistons. While it's not unfamiliar for fans to root for an appearance by the team's 12th man at the end of a blowout, it is rare for that 12th man to be making $9 million a season as Adonal Foyle currently is.  

• "The league is just trying to cover its ass. I told Bruce, 'You be Bruce Bowen. You're the best [expletive] defender in this league. You will NOT change the way you play defense.' Stu Jackson is not going to change my team just because he thinks he's doing the right thing."
--Gregg Popovich to the San Antonio Express-News in response to the league's crackdown on Bowen's defense.

• "They pay money, they can do whatever they want. It doesn't bother me. I've dealt with it. It's not a big deal. Quite frankly, I'm used to it. It's kind of a laughing matter now. It's like, 'How quickly can I get into the game and they start booing?' Lately I've been pretty good, because once I've hit the scorer's table (to check in), I've been getting them."
--Mike Dunleavy Jr. to the Contra Costa Times on being booed at home.

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