Sprewell leaves sense off in bargain hunt

November 07, 2004|by MARK KELLER

Just when you thought you had heard it all, another athlete opens his mouth. ...

Latrell Sprewell of the Minnesota Timberwolves (did you know I'd be talking about an NBA player?) is apparently offended by a contract offer he received from the team that would reportedly pay him $9 million per year.

By now, we're not surprised when an overpaid professional athlete complains about how hard it is to be him. So, the idea that Sprewell is insulted by such a paltry offer is not necessarily noteworthy here.

What is noteworthy is the statement Sprewell made to the press. Hang on to your hats.

"Why would I want to help them win a title? They're not doing anything for me. I'm at risk. I have a lot of risk here. I got my family to feed."


Lots to cover in that one, don't you think?

Why would you want to help them win a title? That's easy ... because it's your job. Every person who works in this country is given goals or benchmarks to reach or strive for in his job. If you're a professional athlete, that goal should be to win a title.

The Timberwolves having Sprewell on a team with Kevin Garnett - who even I know is one of the three best players in the NBA - is doing something for him.

The Timberwolves paying Sprewell $14.6 million this season is doing something for him.

Heck, the fact that Sprewell is still playing in the league is proof that the Timberwolves are doing something for him. Would you hire a guy who once tried to choke his boss, as Sprewell did to P.J. Carlesimo, his coach when he played at Golden State?

Of course, Sprewell is blaming the press for blowing the whole thing out of proportion. I'm wondering how he's explaining to his teammates exactly what he meant when he asked, "Why should I help them?"

Maybe the bigger question is why should the Timberwolves help you, Latrell?

Actually, the biggest question is: How large do you think Sprewell's family has to be if $9 million a year isn't going to cover the grocery bill? I don't know that there are Food Lion stores in Minneapolis, but certainly some supermarket has to have the equivalent of an MVP card to help save him some money.

Here's an idea for any of you who do not use the coupons that come with your Sunday newspaper. Clip the coupons, put them in an envelope and mail them to this address:

Minnesota Timberwolves, 600 First Avenue N, Minneapolis, MN 55403, Attention: Latrell Sprewell.

Be sure to include a short note to Latrell, telling him you heard about his plight and that you hope the coupons will help him make ends meet. If you'd rather not sign your name to the note, feel free to use mine.

After all, the holiday season is upon us, and I'd hate to see a family in need go without.

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at

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