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Could Greek Team Offer LeBron $40 or $50 Million a Season?

Just as I had finished penning my “Euro Leagues will never threaten the NBA” post, I came across the Ian Thomsen story on SI saying a Greek team may take a run at LeBron when he becomes a free agent. My whole premise was along the same lines as why MLS won’t ever threaten the EPL and European soccer — it’s not popular enough in the country. Until basketball in Europe becomes as big of a business as the NBA is in the U.S., our top level talent won’t be leaving the States to play abroad. And I don’t think Europe or any other leagues could ever approach the type of popularity and revenue that the NBA generates.

Anyway, the basis for Thomsen’s piece is that the owners of the Greek team Olympiakos — for whom Josh Childress has already agreed to play — want to win at any cost. That’s why they signed Childress, who likely won’t generate enough revenue to cover his contract. So when LeBron James does become a free agent, Olympiakos could step in and offer him an uncapped salary that could approach $40 or $50 million a season if they wanted to. It’s not like the league here where the max deal would be around $20 million. I’m still skeptical for several reasons.

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Josh Howard in Speed Racer Remake

Even if Josh Hamilton drops out of the home run race in the American League, good to know the state of Texas will still have a triple crown winner this year. Mavericks guard/forward Josh Howard completed the trifecta by getting arrested for speeding in his hometown of Winston-Salem. Ironically enough, Howard was in town for a basketball camp sponsored by his foundation. Well, the campers should be happy to know that Howard was setting a great example by getting clocked doing 94mph and was charged with speeding, careless and reckless driving, and racing, according to the police report. That’s a pretty strong effort for just one evening right there.

Thing is, this just caps off the perfect season for Josh Howard. If you remember back in May, there was a report out there that Josh Howard threw a birthday party following the team’s Game 4 loss in the playoffs against the wishes of Coach Avery Johnson. If you remember correctly, the Mavs lost in 5 games to the Hornets, and Josh Howard had a horrendous series. Yes, and that all came after Howard admitted to toking up the ganja as well. Like I said, our man sure did complete the trifecta. All he needs to do now for the superfecta is follow in the Travis Henry footsteps.

Forget Kobe and Jordan: Paul Pierce Says He’s the Best Player in the World

I’ve been pretty high on Paul Pierce in the past, saying that he deserved some MVP consideration based on how valuable he was to the horrendous Celtics squad from two years ago. Even though I think highly of Pierce — especially after the way he performed in the playoffs this year — calling him the best player in the world is a stretch. I figure guys like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and maybe even Chris Paul can lay claim to that argument. Anyhow, when asked who the best player in the world was, Pierce’s answer was himself, and added he even added this:

“There’s a line that separates having confidence and being conceited. I don’t cross that line, but I have a lot of confidence in myself.”

“I have an opinion, I have a right to have one and that’s the way I feel. I felt I’ve played against the best over the years and felt right now that I’m the best player in the world.”

You know what? Damn the man, why should he let anyone tell him that he’s not he best player in the world? As long as he thinks it and is a confident player who backs it up, what’s wrong with maintaining that attitude? Sure, it’s a problem when Ricky Davis thinks that way because then he’s jacking up 20 shots a game, but when Paul Pierce is in the NBA Finals, maybe that attitude helps give him a competitive edge on the court. I appreciate that attitude. It might be incorrect, but he sure does have the last laugh, not to mention a Finals MVP Trophy to go with it.

Michael Jordan Would Take Kobe Bryant in His Prime

I wasn’t too happy when people started drumming up all the Kobe/MJ comparisons during the playoffs this year. Many folks in the media were prematurely anticipating Kobe winning his fourth ring. As I’ve said before, Kobe’s Kobe and MJ’s MJ. They both have been the best basketball player in the entire world at one point or another in their lives. Isn’t that good enough? Well, just for all you curious folks out there, Michael Jordan answered the question of a camper at his Flight School at UCSB. Who could take who, Michael Jordan, or Kobe Bryant? Let’s find out what His Airness said:

Come on, did you really expect anything less of him — especially in front of his campers?? As for the debate at hand, MJ will always be the best in my eyes. That is, until the next Michael Jordan comes around, of course.

NBA Player Uses Alias ‘Sponge Bob Square Pants’ at Hotels

The USA Basketball team is now in Beijing getting ready for Olympics tuneups. Before that though, they were in Las Vegas practicing and whatnot. Though this note is a little old at this point, it’s a goodie. It comes to us from the Las Vegas Review-Journal via Ben Maller.

Members of Team USA are keeping an age-old tradition of celebrity aliases alive.

Spies tell me that one of the star players goes by the alias “Bruce Wayne,” the alter ego of “Batman,” and another has taken the name “SpongeBob SquarePants,” the animated cartoon character from the hit TV show of the same name.

Several Team USA players have been using their favorite aliases during their stay at Wynn Las Vegas this week.

In the stands, when the U.S. Olympic squad faces Canada’s Olympic men’s basketball team tonight at the Thomas & Mack Center, could be Michael Jordan, who has been known to use the name “Clark Kent” and “Mr. Sterling” at Las Vegas hotels and restaurants.

Alright, SpongeBob SquarePants? My money’s on Dwight Howard. It’s already been well-publicized that Howard’s kind of a closet-nerd and that he’s a fan of cartoons. Though I would bet on Howard, any player on the team that has a kid is pretty likely to have watched the cartoon at some point. Still, I’ll go with Howard here. Or could Jason Kidd be our culprit?!

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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