published Thursday, May 10th, 2012

5 at 10: T.O. needing a TO, huge NBA salaries and too much talking

Hey gang, great week. Remember the mailbag on Friday, and we have one spot open. Let's finish strong. (Secret side challenge: Sneak a movie quote into your answer and see if we can guess it. Could be prizes involved for some creative thinkers out there.)

From the "Talk too much Studios" here we go...

  • photo
    UTC alumni and NFL star Terrell Owens visits a game.
    Photo by Robin Rudd /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Doctor's visit

Former NFL All-Pro receiver Terrell Owens went on the Dr. Phil show earlier this week, and the results were more over-the-top than you could even have imagined. He is broke and has several kids with several women and tried to make amends about his sorry daddying.

Here's our starting point:

"This is not an ideal situation having four kids by four different women," said Owens, who is playing for an arena football team somewhere in Texas.

Yep, when you're dealing with that fundamental baseline of logic and supreme grasp of the social structure, there's no way to fail, right? Right?

OK, few disclaimers here:

First, the 5-at-10's momma loves her some Dr. Phil, so out of respect we're going to go easy on him. That said, anyone who drags their personal problems out into the open forum of day-time TV not only deserves our ridicule, they should expect it. Period.

Second, the NFL is an 10-figure industry — somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 billion annually, and that's a pretty nice neighborhood. And they are making great strides to try to make sure the players — the guys that deliver the goods at great physical cost every week — are as safe as possible. They also need to look at ways to make players safe financially. Hey, we get it, there's a great big chunk of personally responsibility needed here and this is T.O.'s fault. But this league is going to put safe guards in so the players can try to deal with the literal headaches that the game can cause, why not the heartaches too?

Third, there is zero doubt in our mind that T.O. could contribute to an NFL team right now. But his overwhelming physical gifts are no longer worth the distraction, and that is a grand lesson for everyone.

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  • photo
    Miami Heat LeBron James celebrates with teammate Chris Bosh after a play during the third quarter of game 2 of an NBA Eastern Conference playoff game at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Monday, April 30, 2012. (AP Photo/el Nuevo Herald, David Santiago)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Rising NBA temperatures

The NBA is starting to get really interesting. LeBron and the Heatles dismissed the Knicks. Star-studded OKC and San Antonio are waiting to get back on the floor after first-round sweeps.

Plus, there are three Game 6s tonight with varying storylines that have some intrigue.

Atlanta at Boston: The Hawks trail 3-2 in the series, and as Chuck Barkley said earlier this week about the excellently predictable mediocrity from the Hawks — "We've seen this move before," Chuck said, "and they all drown" — we know Boston will find a way to down this bunch. In fact it's so certain, let's turn our attention to Rajon Rondo, who had a finger-pointing temper-tantrum at a camera man after the Celtics' Game 5 loss. No, not about Rondo's emotions or his lack of control of them, let's talk about the jacket. Wow, Rondo issued his stern talk to the camera man wearing something that Morris Day wouldn't wear. It was some sort of zebra-striped disaster with an orange collar that was so trying-too-hard-tobe-hip that Ducky from Pretty in Pink wouldn't touch it with Molly Ringwald's chopsticks.

L.A. at Denver: The Lakers lead 3-2, and as was accurately pointed out Wednesday, this series is not a done deal yet. We believe Kobe Bryant and the gang will have a say in the NBA Finals and they will get through this round. But, if we're a Lakers fan this morning we have two questions: Can they take of BID-ness tonight and avoid the extra strain and pressure of a Game 7? And, why are they so overly concerned about the computer games the Nuggets are playing on the bench? Seriously, who cares which version of "Where's My Water" or "Angry Birds" the Denver bench has. Shut up and play.

Chicago at Philadelphia: The Bulls trail 3-2 and have been ravaged by injury. Philly needs to handle this tonight or be faced with letting a golden chance get away. That said, tough break for the Bulls, who had the best record in the East but lost Derrick Rose to an ACL injury and Joakim Noah to an ankle. Noah is doubtful for tonight. And as tough as the West is shaping up to be, the East has kind of opened itself up for the Heat.

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You talk too much

Cris Carter has landed in a flap for flapping his gums. Ultimately, we believe Carter was shooting his mouth off, trying to sound tough on the radio. That's fine, everyone likes to sound tough on the radio — in fact we're going to try to sound tough today at 2 p.m. on The Show with Chris Goforth on 1370 AM.

Quick rewind: After the hubbub of the New Orleans Saints' Bounty-Gate, every NFL former player with a microphone tries to downplay the deal. It happened everywhere, but they offer no real example. They heard about it in their day. OK, great.

Well on a radio show this week, Carter tossed out that he put bounties on defensive guys he thought were out to get him. (Wouldn't that be a Re-Bounty, and could we do the old-school, "RE-Bounty that basketball" cheer? No. OK, let's move along.)

Carter specifically mentioned Bill Romanowski, saying the former NFL linebacker made threats to Carter, who in turn told some of his former Vikings offensive linemen teammates to get Romanowski and there was "food money" to be had for doing it.

Well, few things here: First, Romanowski never got hurt, and if several offensive linemen wanted to take out a linebacker, there would be ample chance to do so. Second, Carter was not hurt, so either Romanowski didn't threaten him or he didn't do a very good job of backing it up. Third, why would Carter even discuss this if for no other reason than to make Carter look tough or with it. Seriously this is something like a decade ago and we have not heard about it until now.

Here's saying the entire deal was overblown for effect and that effect was not as cool as Carter had hoped it to be. He spent most of Wednesday visiting a slew of ESPN platforms trying to backtrack and dial down the drama. Here's a thought about drama — don't start none, won't be none. And you can quote us on that.

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This and that

— Checking on random sports news items we Matthew Anthony Maldanado, who was born in Salinas, Calif., on this day last year http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/31/giant-california-baby_n_868954.html. Not-so-Lil' Matt weighed 14 pounds, 3.8 ounces at birth. We believe Mel Kiper has him on his NFL Draft big board for the 2033 Draft. We love the draft. You know this.

— Speaking of the draft, the NBA is starting to appear on the horizon. We have not forgotten this. In fact, who had this factoid on the parlay sheet: The SEC could have more first-rounders in the NBA draft as they did in the NFL draft. Kentucky has five projected first-rounders, Vandy could have three sneak into round one, Florida's Brandon Beal is a lottery pick and Mississippi State's Arnett Moultrie is also a first-rounder. There were nine SEC football first-rounders.

— The Braves scored as many runs as we did Wednesday afternoon and took a 1-0 loss at Chicago. The Cubs are confounding, no? They appear to have boss starting pitching, yet they are 13-18 and tied for last in the NL Central — a game and a half behind the Pirates for crying out loud.

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Today's question

We mentioned Wednesday that Hawks guard Joe Johnson made more coin than Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. That got us thinking (which, we know Spy, is not always a good thing).

Below is a list of the top NBA salaries for this season. First, wow, that's some serious cabbage. Second, Rashard Lewis? Wow, that's a Mike Hampton-level bad cotnract right there. Here's the question: If you could be a pro in basketball, football or baseball, which one do you take? Discuss, and check on the NBA salaries.

PLAYERS

TEAMS

2011 / 2012 SALARIES

  1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers — $25.2 million
  2. Rashard Lewis, Washington Wizards — $22.1 million
  3. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs — $21.3 million
  4. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics — $21.2 million
  5. Gilbert Arenas, Orlando Magic — $19.2 million
  6. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks — $19.0 million
  7. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers — $18.7 million
  8. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks — $18.5 million
  9. Amar'e Stoudemire, New York Knicks — $18.2 million
  10. Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks — $18.0 million
  11. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic — $17.8 million
  12. Elton Brand, Philadelphia 76ers — $17.0 million
  13. Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets — $16.3 million
  14. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers — $16.3 million
  15. LeBron James, Miami Heat — $16.0 million
  16. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat — $16.0 million
  17. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat — $15.5 million
  18. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics — $15.3 million
  19. Andrew Bynum, Los Angeles Lakers — $15.1 million
  20. Antawn Jamison, Cleveland Cavaliers — $15.0 million
about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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chas9 said...

Who knew the SEC is now a basketball league?

As for T.O., well, I guess hard times flush the chumps. True story: On the day I bought my first good car (1985 Saab 900) at Kelly Saab, the good folks at Kelly were prepping the new deluxe Saab that a UTC football player had used his signing money to buy. He was going to get in that baby and drive west that very afternoon. That was a kinda big deal, because not many Mocs had signed an NFL contract. I'd heard a bit about the gentleman named Terrell Owens, but at that point nobody knew about the T.O. hidden within.

Just to be clear: We have to sneak a movie quote by you to win the treasure? And when and how do we determine a wiener?

May 10, 2012 at 11:21 a.m.
Todd962 said...

TO's downfall is a truly sad deal. He has fallen into an alarming large category with some of his peers from various leagues that didnt quite take the greatest approach to their professional career. Wives and children are a large "expense" as a man and the numbers grow exponentially as the quantity of both increases(Oh dear god, dont let her find out I listed her as an expense). As a player on the field he was a huge asset for a majority of his career, but he was constantly toeing the line of not being worth the hassle. If he had spent a little more time honing his craft instead of flapping his gums he could have easily been one of the greatest. But the trend in those industries is for everybody to get an honest weeks pay for an honest days work. Oh the dream...

Can I be a professional bowler? Whats the PBA's policy on pitchers of beer on the lanes during matches. I'm better when I'm drunk. No bowling? Fine. I will have to lean towards baseball. I'll be able to pick my kids up when I'm forty while being able to remember their names, and I dont have to deal with the hassles of being circus freak tall. Hard to buy clothes when your seven feet tall and I dont think I would like being stared at the remainder of my days.

Chris Carter...c'mon man. Shut it.

May 10, 2012 at 11:25 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Don't feel that talking too much singles you out, 5. In this era, you blend.

And $15M for Antawn Jamison? Huh? I've always thought being a bench guy in baseball was the ultimate life - good money, not a lot of sweating, time to sample great restaurants after a ballgame. But this NBA money... this kind of greed is over the top. (Yes, you could follow with the greed is good line. But the previous line is a hidden gem from another movie. Discuss.)

May 10, 2012 at 11:29 a.m.
deboman said...

Wow, after seeing that list of players and what they make, no wonder they feel they need to get paid to play in the Olympics. Poor souls. Or maybe the writing is on the wall that the percentage of players broke within a few years of the end of their playing days is shooting through the roof. If TO, who was an exceptional talent was well paid for his duties, is broke from 4 children from 4 women, you’ve got to wonder what kind of problems we are going to hear about from Antonio Cromartie in a few years. That kid is on pace to make Shawn Kemp look like Tim Tebow.

Of the three sports, I would have to go with baseball, if for no other reason, the injury factor. Well, except for catchers, which explains the padding. I think I can handle long summer nights at the ballpark especially knowing that there'd be a good chance I would be able to actually reminisce about the good ole days and be able to get out of bed without help. Heck, they’ve even taken tobacco out of the equation which probably offered the most debilitating effects of a long baseball career.

May 10, 2012 at 12:23 p.m.
Livn4life said...

T. O.'s next reality show "The Owin's of Owens." That ought to bring in enough green to get him at least even on the money owed for his irresponsibility in the area of fatherhood. Sorry I cannot see where the NFL owes anything to people who make the money they make, squander it in declining years, then try to continue living the "good life" when they no longer have the good income. Maybe someone needs to give them a good dose of how the rest of us live. It is sad but the personal responsibility thing, now lacking in our society at large, is a huge part of those poor, Poor Former NFL players. Chris Carter is giving dialogue supportive of a need for Mutiny on the Bounty. I cannot see any value garnered from his speaking out and it would be funny if he got a retroactive fine for his part in the atrocity. Would have to go with being a professional baseball player. It is the only sport I played into high school. Even with less money there is less chance of ending up like T.O. multi-women/kids or having a bounty taken out on you. Quote from movie: "Uh Jim, I was sorry to hear about your dad. He was a good mate."

May 10, 2012 at 12:46 p.m.
Stewwie said...

[If you could be a pro in basketball, football or baseball, which one do you take?]

Definitely not football. Did you see the SI story last year about a Bengals roster from the 80s and what they’re up to these days health-wise? Scary. No wonder the NFL is getting serious nowadays on the long-term effects of its game. Fun to watch, no doubt, but I don’t think it’d be worth the money for me to play. I'd rather pick baseball or basketball instead.

The only reason that Joe Johnson is making more coin than LBJ or D-Wade is because the lead singers of the Heatles agreed to take a slight pay cut in order to form their proverbial band. Also, one of the lures from Wade to LeBron was that Florida has no state income tax (whereas Ohio does) so the pay cut wouldn’t be a big deal. However, Mr. Johnson gets to pay a 6% GA tax rate, so that lessens the gap between his and Wade’s/LeBron’s salaries.

I think Boston and Philly both win tonight. Don’t know who to pick between L.A. and Denver. The Nuggets are 1.5 point favorites but that doesn’t really help. If it goes to Game 7 though, L.A. will win for sure.

May 10, 2012 at 1:19 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent

I would choose baseball. I love all the sports but the one constant through all the years has been baseball. I've always loved baseball. And you can make some serious cash doing it without as much risk of serious injury as in football or basketball. I do love playing basketball (and watching football is the best), but people get hurt doing that. If I'm a second baseman, my biggest challenge is to avoid getting in the middle of someone trying to break up a double play ball. So, my choice would be baseball, I think.

From the 5-at-10 now — (Nice Field of Dreams reference in there).

More in about 30 minutes.

May 10, 2012 at 2:04 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Mouthy Chris Carter will never make it to Canton by the front door, while class guy, Tim Brown, will receive no call either. Maybe the Veteram's Committee will give them some consideration.

Got to give T.O. a bit of respect for trying to shoulder his own financial burden in the Arena League. At least he hasn't dropped to Travis Henry's level.

May 10, 2012 at 2:06 p.m.
wcole777 said...

There are a few things about T.O. I've read here I totally agree with. The first, from the 5@10 commentary, is that he definitely thought he was the best thing that happened to anyone he played for in the NFL and that hurt his career, and subsequently his finances big time.

But I also believe in a chance at redemption and as chancellor mentioned he does deserve a bit of respect. I can't imagine how hard a guy who thought he was on top of the world has to fall to get back up and play in the arena league. Must be humbling and probably exactly what he needs if he expects to enter reality again.

It's funny, I can think of another athlete in a similar position regarding humility in his sport but may never come back to the reality of most being that he could potentially buy a portion of the world and that probably won't change.

May 10, 2012 at 2:46 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Great Saab story (see what we did there... Thank you, thank you).

And, man, O Brother Where Art Thou in flushing out the chumps and the treasure. (Is we have a wiener a Simpsons shoutout?)

Mr. 962 —

Great call about the finances of a family. They really are priceless. And when you start splitting the immediate family tree, it can add some lines to the debit ledger.

And you are Ace (Ventura) with us, my man.

Spy —

That list is crazy, huh? Antwan Jamison is a stiff and he's making 15 million — or 150 percent of what Tom Watson made in golf winnings.

And would you say we blend like Cousin Vinny?

— 5-at-10

(Be back shortly... trying to backtrack from a crazy morning.)

May 10, 2012 at 3:03 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Deboman —

Good call on Antonio Cromartie. He's well on his way to lead team Cromartie vs. team Kemp in the father-son all-star Olympics.

Livn (Large) —

You're correct that it starts with personal responsibility. And the smart players embrace the logic that the league uses them they should use the league.

That said, if we were a sports agent, we would take 20 percent of every check every client ever made and put into a retirement account. Four kids from four women is definitel expensive, but T.O. made more than $66 million playing football. Even with the extra houses, cars, tots, etc., there had to be a lot of hands in the cookie jar for him to be broke.

One thing the league should hire is a "No" guy for each team. The NFL is an $8 billion a year, they can afford to pay 32 people $100,000 a year and let each player tell their third cousin that the new Jeep he wants has to be cleared by the team's "No" guy.

Actually we think the colleges should offer a major in professional sports for the guys who have a chance to make it, and teach them how to money manage and pick quality people. But that's a discussion for another time.

Quote: Man from Snowy River? It's the one where they hang Richard Harris by his nipples, right? We're a sucker for a Western.

Be back in a few more....

May 10, 2012 at 3:25 p.m.
jgreeson said...

A Brand Stew Day —

Great point about the state income tax and LeJohn and DeRingo taking less to form the Heatles. That said, the Hawks should have been able to land Joe Johnson for way less.

We share you belief that the Cs and the 76ers get it done tonight. Somewhere Bobby Jones and Cornbread Maxwell will smile.

FE to the C —

Nice call. At least T.O. is trying to make some effort.

And wow, Travis Henry? That's a nice pull.

WC777 —

Nice point, and there are two common mental mistakes in these type of situations.

First, these athletes think they will always make seven-eight figures, so they spend all they have because they can just go make more. Secondly, they think they are bullet proof, which is a strength and an asset in their day job of sports superstar but a human shortcoming more times than not. (Unless you're 10 feet tall and bullet proof, and in that case we call that Thursday night at the 5-at-10 compound.... Where were we?)

— 5-at-10

May 10, 2012 at 3:36 p.m.
chas9 said...

The 5@10 is great on 5/10. You caught my movie allusions. That brain of yours is crammed full of it.

And is naked unicycling a new sport? Which of your worthy cubs will you assign to the beat?

May 10, 2012 at 5:10 p.m.
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