I feel like this story should start “Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol walk into a bar…”
But in reality they were walking into a charity event, and it’s not a joke. Kobe and Gasol have partnered up as part owners of a race horse. Here is the story from the Associated Press:
Bryant and Gasol bid against each other for an ownership stake in a 4-year-old gelding named Siempre Mio as part of a Lakers Foundation fundraiser at Riviera Country Club on Tuesday night.
“Pao Gasol bid first, but then he and Kobe got into a little bit of a bidding war. Kobe won the bidding at $8,000,” Doug O’Neill, who trains the gelding, said Wednesday.
(Santa Anita Park CEO Mark) Verge then offered Gasol a chance to buy a 25 percent interest in the horse in exchange for a donation to the Lakers Foundation. Part of the deal was that the new owners pay no expenses in the horse’s care and training.
Yes, it’s a gelding. Make your own “it runs like Gasol plays” jokes, I’m not spending time on it.
Getting out of having to pay the care and training costs is key — those costs eat horse owners alive. It’s expensive. Siempre Mio could win some money for the Lakers (as if they need more), the horse has two wins and a second in five career starts.
The real reason they did this? It gives them something to talk to former horse trainer Jim Buss about.
ProBasketballTalk’s Kurt Helin explains why he believes the Sacramento Kings have enough pieces to potentially make a run at the final playoff spot in the West.
A lot of people around the NBA have ideas to improve the draft, free agency and the D-League, and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has never been shy about sharing his. His latest idea seems pretty logical: a supplemental draft for undrafted free agents.
Via Hoops Rumors:
“I would have a supplemental draft every summer for undrafted free agents of the current and previous 3 years,” Cuban wrote in an email to Hoops Rumors. “If you are more than 3 years out you are not eligible and just a free agent.”
The supplemental draft would have two rounds, and teams would hold the rights to the players they select for two years, Cuban added. Players can opt out and choose not to make themselves eligible, but those who get picked would receive fully guaranteed minimum-salary contracts when they sign, according to Cuban’s proposal.
“That would make it fun a few weeks after the draft and pre-summer league,” Cuban wrote. “It would prevent some of the insanity that goes on to build summer league rosters.”
It’s an interesting proposition. Most undrafted players who sign during the summer don’t get guaranteed contracts, so when deciding to enter this supplemental draft, they would have to weigh the value of having guaranteed money versus getting to decide where they sign. It’s unlikely that anything like this could happen anytime soon, because of all the hoops to jump through to get the league and the players’ union to sign off on it, but it’s a worthwhile idea that deserves some consideration in the next CBA negotiations.