Gilbert Arenas Is Making Good Use of His New Contract

OK, so I realize that Gil was talking about building a replica of the Playboy Mansion pool at his house before signing his new deal, but it just makes it more fun to say it this way. Anyway, DC Sports Bog was able to snag some photos of Gil’s highly hyped lagoon. Check out the pics of this million-dollar bad boy in its preliminary state:

Here are a few fast facts about the pool:

* The stone for the “mountain” cost nearly half a million dollars.

* There are three different fish tanks, one going in the “grotto,” one in the front hall, and one in the basement. Their normal retail price would have been about another half-million.

* The tank in the basement will have a recess with a couch in it so Gil can “relax and look up at the fish.”

* The work is scheduled to be finished in August.

That’s pretty clutch right there. Never have I wanted to be invited to someone’s place more than Gil’s (Playboy Mansion comes a close second). More pics after the jump

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Randy Moss’ Daughter Is a Baller

Following in the tradition of many professional athletes, Randy Moss’ offspring is apparently quite talented. The Louisville Courier-Journal has the story of Sydney Moss, Randy’s 14-year-old daughter, who despite her youth has already become a top prospect in women’s hoops. The young teen is already 5’10″ and expected to grow to 6’1″ and become one of the top players in the 2012 class. She’s already received letters from the likes of Louisville, Kentucky, and Purdue. As for her thoughts on her father …

“She handles it well,” Frank Offutt said of the attention on his granddaughter. “She would be happy if nobody knew. I don’t think it’s a pressure thing. She wants to be recognized for her own ability as opposed to, ‘Well, that’s Randy’s daughter,’ but I don’t think it bothers her.”

And in case you forgot whether or not Randy has any hoops talent, let me refresh your memory with this video.

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Europe Will Never Threaten the NBA

I know the word “never” sounds pretty absolute, but I’m extremely confident that the European game won’t threaten the health of the NBA. Sure Brandon Jennings electing to play pro ball in Italy instead of going to college at Arizona was a major turning point, and Josh Childress jumping to a Greek team was a momentous move, but European Leagues will never truly challenge the NBA. The major factor that’s allowed several players to make the move across the Atlantic this off-season is the devalued dollar compared to the Euro. Now what used to be a three-year $10 million offer in Europe has become a $15 million offer because of the exchange rate. Suddenly that 3:2 ratio is looking pretty darn appealing.

Thing is though, basketball has to absolutely explode in popularity to soccer-like levels in order for the salaries to ever become competitive with what the NBA can offer its top players. You think they could ever put together contract offers like what Gilbert just signed for with Washington? Think they could scrap together a max deal for 75 million euros? Sure they can steal Josh Childress in Greece for the equivalent of $20 million (and pay for his Greek taxes), but they can’t steal our top-level talent — not until basketball seriously starts booming in Europe. And heck, if a team wants a player that badly in the NBA, they’ll just ramp up their offer. Just ask the Lakers and Sasha Vujacic who agreed on a thee-year $15 million deal, quashing rumors that he might go play Euro ball. So guys might jump shit here-and-there, but fear not, even the exchange rate can’t overtake the popularity and dollars we can pay our prime talent over here.

Charles Barkley the Benevolent: Pays for Busboy’s College Tuition

So recently we may have given Chuck a tough time for his unwavering opinion of the paparazzi, though he is partially right about them. I mostly stayed away from his gambling stuff because well, let’s be honest, I used to hit up an online sportsbook, too. Yet for all the negative reporting about Chuck, he did do something pretty incredible for which he deserves notice. Chuck paid for the college tuition of a busboy at an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia that he frequents. From the Philly Daily News:

[Christian Abate]‘s worked as a busboy for eight years at Saloon (750 S. 7th), where he struck up a friendship with one generous regular at the Italian restaurant who volunteered to pay his Temple tuition.

During a visit to Saloon last summer, Charles Barkley asked Abate how he was enjoying teaching, and was disappointed to learn that Abate had still not returned to Temple because of problems securing financial aid. Abate, 28, of South Philly, started at Temple in 1997, months after graduating from St. John Neumann High.

Sir Charles told Abate he would like to help him with his tuition, and Abate wasn’t sure how to respond. Barkley didn’t give him much time, telling Abate that he had the length of Barkley’s meal to decide. Abate wisely accepted.

Apparently Chuck’s really generous with his money when it comes to education, having given a million bucks to his old high school in Alabama, as well as Auburn where he went to college, and another high school in Birmingham. He may throw some of his money to waste, but at least he’s pretty benevolent when it comes to positive things like education.

Video: Laker Girl Tryouts

The Laker Girls held tryouts to see which lucky ladies would be fortunate enough to make the team and potentially become the object of certain player’s desires. As we found out, fans were not permitted to attend, but the media was. Here are the fruits of their labor:

You know, I’m not much of a Laker fan, but if there is something I have to give them props for, it’s for having some hottie cheerleaders for sure. I just hope there were a few male judges around so that all the hottieness didn’t go to waste.

UPDATE: Adam Rose of the LA Times has a recap of the tryouts, and more importantly, lots of pictures.

Picture of Stephon Marbury’s Head Tattoo

OK, so over the weekend I told you that Stephon Marbury was busy in the offseason adding a new tattoo of his Starbury logo to his dome. The story was good, but what everyone really wanted to see was a picture of it. Well, thanks to the magic of Deadspin, we now have one. Brace yourself.

Well, if he ever gets tired of it, at least he can just grow his hair out …

Stephon Marbury Goes Mike Tyson With New Tattoo

UPDATE: We now have a picture of Marbury’s tattoo

I’m a fan of Stephon Marbury and his Starbury shoes. Come on, anyone who sells a real pair of basketball sneakers for less than 20 bucks is pretty awesome. And with Steve and Barry’s filing for bankruptcy, Steph’s cut a deal with Amazon to sell the shoes for less than 10 bucks. Sounds like a good deal to me. Problem is Stephon himself may be a little too in love with his shoes, or rather, his logo.

Stephon Marbury bounded off the Knicks’ team bus at Vegas’ Valley High last night – a new tattoo inscribed on his left temple. The “3″ logo found on his Starbury sneaker and apparel line is now a permanent part of his bald head.

Good thing the permanent tattoo ink wasn’t used on his Knick jersey.

Marbury’s explained his tats in a video with Dime Magazine, and many of his other ones have personal significance such as the names of his children and their birthdays. Those are some of the tats he has on his neck. Now he’s got one on his dome. Nice. Can’t wait to see how it looks, though I’m guessing it ain’t too pretty.