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View Full Version : Bad news for TWolves: Sprewell issues ultimatum


Evilmav2
10-23-2004, 12:47 AM
http://www.hhyd.org/act_latrell_sprewell.jpg
Sprewell delivers ultimatum

BY MIKE WELLS, Pioneer Press

Swingman Latrell Sprewell won't be in uniform tonight when Minnesota takes on the New York Knicks, and if the Timberwolves don't sign him to a contract extension, there's a strong possibility he won't play with them next season.

Sprewell is nursing an ankle injury and a bruised ego. He said Thursday if the two sides can't agree on an extension before the Nov. 3 season opener against the Knicks at the Target Center, it could lead to "potential problems" down the road.

"For me, they're not showing the interest that they would want to keep me," he said. "That's how I would look at it. Especially for what I've done; not only me but what Sam (Cassell) has done for this organization. That would be somewhat a smack in the face if they don't step up and get something done.

"If not, obviously, I would think it's time for me to go somewhere else."

Sprewell decided not to opt out of the final year of his contract in July with the understanding that he would get an extension. Sprewell's agent, Robert Gist, said at the time he thought a three-year extension would be worked out by the end of July. That plan got pushed aside when the Wolves hit a snag in re-signing point guard Troy Hudson. Now they essentially have less than two weeks left to strike a deal.

Wolves vice president of operations Kevin McHale was unavailable for comment Thursday. He said Wednesday he hopes a deal can be struck soon so it doesn't become a distraction this season. The Wolves are a favorite to win the Western Conference and reach the NBA Finals for the first time.

Cassell missed the first day of training camp to show his displeasure about not receiving a contract extension from the Wolves.

"You want everybody focused, so we're hoping to get it done before the season starts," McHale said of the Sprewell negotiations.

If the talks drag past the season opener, Sprewell will be reluctant to continue negotiations, and instead will ask for a sign-and-trade deal or wait to become a free agent at the end of the season. If he becomes a free agent, he said, he would not re-sign with the Timberwolves.

Sprewell said there have been talks over the past few weeks, but nothing to his liking. Taking a pay cut is out of the question, he said. Sprewell, 34, will make $14.6 million this season and doesn't believe he should have to take less money from the Wolves, or any other team, to play in 2005-06.

Under NBA rules, Sprewell is eligible for a deal up to three years and could receive a 12.5 percent raise each year, meaning he could make $16.4 million in the first year of his contract. It's unlikely he'll get that much, however, because he is considered past his prime. He said he would like a two-year, maybe even three-year, extension.

"I'm not trying to take a pay cut," he said. "A lot of other guys out there aren't doing as well as I am and still making as much, if not more. I've been genetically blessed to run and do other things on the court that are a God-given talent. Along with the work I put in and the blessings I have, I feel like I have a lot to offer."

Wolves owner Glen Taylor said Thursday there is no timetable for an extension. Taylor hasn't spoken to Sprewell, choosing to leave the preliminary talks to McHale. Still, Sprewell said, it's all up to Taylor.

"It's his money. It's his team," Sprewell said. "Obviously, he takes input and advice from underneath, but the bottom line is the owner makes the call."

Sprewell, traded to the Wolves from New York in July 2003, averaged 16.8 points and was part of the "Big Three" — with Cassell and Kevin Garnett — that led the Wolves to the conference finals last season. Cassell also was acquired in a trade, from the Milwaukee Bucks, in 2003 and the acquisitions enabled the Wolves to get out of the first round of the playoffs for first time in team history.

"That's the bottom line on where I'm coming from," Sprewell said. "This team had never gotten out of the first round with all the moves they've made. We come here and we do what we have to do and we almost get to the Finals. If they're not going to take care of us, it feels like a smack in the face. That's the only way I can put it."

Link (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=knight-sprewelldeliversultimatum&prov=knight&type=lgns)

EricaLubarsky
10-23-2004, 12:53 AM
it's tough when you surround your 30million a year player with money grubbers like Cassell and Sprewell. You'd think that Sprewell would be happy with his small fortune that he put together through 12 years of NBA play, his endorsement deals and his product lines.

dirno2000
10-23-2004, 01:59 AM
I can see Cassell’s point. Based on his position and his level of productivity, he’s underpaid. Sprewell, on the other hand, is in for a rude awakening if he thinks he’s going to make over 15mil next season. Outside of Kobe, there’s not a two in the league worth that kind of money.

MavKikiNYC
10-23-2004, 09:28 AM
"True colors come shinin' through....."

Latrine is lucky to be in the league, let alone playing alongside a league-MVP on a team capable of contending for a championship.


"For me, they're not showing the interest that they would want to keep me," he said. "That's how I would look at it. Especially for what I've done; not only me but what Sam (Cassell) has done for this organization. That would be somewhat a smack in the face if they don't step up and get something done.

"If not, obviously, I would think it's time for me to go somewhere else."


"For what I've done"? What the hell have you done, Latrine? Are you talking about how you were such an irresponsible, unreliable a$$ with the NYKs that the owner himself directed that you be traded? The same owner who protected you worthless coach-stranglin' a$$ over the prior two years when teammates, coach and GM wanted to be rid of you? Do you in your warped reality think that by your behavior forcing the NYKs to dump your over-priced contract and under-performing game constitutes some kind of loyalty to the T'Wolves? You are mistaken.

The T'Wolves SAVED your braided a$$, idiot. YOU owe THEM. But true to form you will bite the hand that feeds you, because you are a worthless piece of trash, careenning downhill on the downside of your career, waiting for the wheels to come off---slowing down, losing your edge, skills eroding. You think there's another team out there that will pay you $15M per to come clang jumpers and not play defense? Find it. And by mid-season, Minny fans will help you pack.

L is for Loser.

Hitman
10-23-2004, 11:20 AM
Ummmm...

Amen Kiki.

A-Freaking-Men.

Latrell is such a worthless excuse for a human being it is ridiculous.

sike
10-23-2004, 11:40 AM
"If not, obviously, I would think it's time for me to go somewhere else."
"True colors" was the exact same song that popped into my head....this is what you get when you expect proven bad guys to have sudden attitude change because of winning.

Male30Dan
10-23-2004, 11:56 AM
This guy is unbelievable!

DCowboysGal
10-23-2004, 01:09 PM

DCowboysGal
10-23-2004, 01:10 PM
Sprewell is 34. Any team would be foolish to offer him more than a 1-year contract after he leaves MIN.

FilthyFinMavs
10-24-2004, 12:56 AM
I love it. T-Wolves have Spree, Wally and Cassell all upset with their management. IF everything was okay in Minnie i'd be afraid of them but I have a feeling they are going to beat themselves this season.

MavKikiNYC
10-24-2004, 01:08 AM
Originally posted by: FilthyFinMavs
I love it. T-Wolves have Spree, Wally and Cassell all upset with their management. IF everything was okay in Minnie i'd be afraid of them but I have a feeling they are going to beat themselves this season.

Tell ya what I see:

1) Cassell's and Wally's contracts are almost an exact match for JKidd's

2) Latrine's contract is an exact match for JKidd's

Trade a cancer or two for a Top 5 player, and the T'Wolves could end up with 2 of the Top 5 players on their team.

dirno2000
10-24-2004, 01:17 AM
[/quote]1) Cassell's and Wally's contracts are almost an exact match for JKidd's[/quote]

Not a bad deal for NJ if they aren't scared off by the long term nature of Wally's contract.

Shaq Attack2
10-24-2004, 06:27 AM
I see zero chance of the Nets banking on Kidd's health. Trade wouldn't happen until the deadline at the earliest, and even then I'd guess this summer, not this season.

Plus, let's be honest, the guy had a very serious microfracture surgery on his knee, and for a PG that is primarily great in the open court, that spells death.

4cwebb
10-24-2004, 09:21 AM
Sprewell situation almost makes me feel for Cassell...after all, as pointed out above, Cassell actually is underpaid. Sprewell, on the other hand, is grossly overpaid. 17 ppg for 15 million per year. No way that guy should even get $10 million per year for playing ball after this season.

I'd like to see KG lay the smack down on both of these fools, or just call them out and tell them both to stay at home if they don't want to come play for millions. In case Cassell forgot, his last taste of success came on the back of the Dream, and Sprewell's best days were in Golden State.

poohrichardson
10-24-2004, 01:37 PM
This coming from a Wolves fan from Minnesota.. (so my opinion is obviously a little biased)

Spree has always been my favorite player in the league besides Jordan. He's definitely one of the top 10 defenders in the league at ANY age. He has always been inconsistent on offense, but who had a better postseason on the Wolves except maybe Garnett? Spree can take over games on both sides of the floor and when he's motivated, he's still one of the very best in the game. Doesn't anyone remember Jon Barry jawing with Sprewell last year in the first round of the playoffs? Spree had been statistically dormant until that point, and he went on to have a handful of 30-point performances for the Wolves. He's worth every penny of his current contract, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Wolves give him the extension he's been looking for.

I'll definitely agree that his best years were at Golden State, and that he's maybe lost a step or two in the past 10 years, but how many players in the league today are as good as Sprewell is at his age? Or at any age? He's still an elite player in the league in my opinion.

endtroducing
10-24-2004, 03:40 PM
uh, yeah...who does Minnesota put out there instead of Spree? Ebi?

4cwebb
10-24-2004, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by: poohrichardson
This coming from a Wolves fan from Minnesota.. (so my opinion is obviously a little biased)

Spree has always been my favorite player in the league besides Jordan. He's definitely one of the top 10 defenders in the league at ANY age. He has always been inconsistent on offense, but who had a better postseason on the Wolves except maybe Garnett? Spree can take over games on both sides of the floor and when he's motivated, he's still one of the very best in the game. Doesn't anyone remember Jon Barry jawing with Sprewell last year in the first round of the playoffs? Spree had been statistically dormant until that point, and he went on to have a handful of 30-point performances for the Wolves. He's worth every penny of his current contract, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Wolves give him the extension he's been looking for.

I'll definitely agree that his best years were at Golden State, and that he's maybe lost a step or two in the past 10 years, but how many players in the league today are as good as Sprewell is at his age? Or at any age? He's still an elite player in the league in my opinion.

Do you advocate Sprewell getting $15 million next season (his current deal expires this year, right)? I think his playoff performance would warrant his contract, but it's not as if he put up those type of numbers consistently throughout last season.

And, I don't really see that he is one of the league's top 10 defenders at this point in his career. Potentially at his position (SG), but certainly not at any position (if that is the argument you were making).

It's a bit of a Catch-22 for the Twolves. They had no relative playoff success prior to last year until they add Spree and Cassell. Then both players sort of turn things around for themselves (Cassell in regular season and playoffs before injury; Sprewell in playoffs more than regular season) playing with KG. Now they feel they are underappreciated for some reason (Sprewell's feelings confuse me a bit more than Cassell's feelings), and are threatening to de-rail the team this year with their petty gripings unless they get more money, when both of them are at an age where performance usually only goes downhill from here.

fin4life
10-25-2004, 01:25 PM
this is great. There is a chance that 3 huge western powers can all self-collapse in one year. First Lakers, then Kings, and now Wolves. Im sure that the Wolves will do jsut fine this year, and they will overceom the distractions.... but there is always a chance. This is certainly good news for the mavs. Now only SA is the only experienced team that doesnt have major internal problems.

sike
10-25-2004, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by: MavKikiNYC

Originally posted by: FilthyFinMavs
I love it. T-Wolves have Spree, Wally and Cassell all upset with their management. IF everything was okay in Minnie i'd be afraid of them but I have a feeling they are going to beat themselves this season.

Tell ya what I see:

1) Cassell's and Wally's contracts are almost an exact match for JKidd's

2) Latrine's contract is an exact match for JKidd's

Trade a cancer or two for a Top 5 player, and the T'Wolves could end up with 2 of the Top 5 players on their team.
dang it Kiki, stop saying things like that.....it makes too much sense. and if all worked out with Kidd's health, the Tpups would have to the be favorite for the ring.

poohrichardson
10-25-2004, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by: 4cwebb

Originally posted by: poohrichardson
This coming from a Wolves fan from Minnesota.. (so my opinion is obviously a little biased)

Spree has always been my favorite player in the league besides Jordan. He's definitely one of the top 10 defenders in the league at ANY age. He has always been inconsistent on offense, but who had a better postseason on the Wolves except maybe Garnett? Spree can take over games on both sides of the floor and when he's motivated, he's still one of the very best in the game. Doesn't anyone remember Jon Barry jawing with Sprewell last year in the first round of the playoffs? Spree had been statistically dormant until that point, and he went on to have a handful of 30-point performances for the Wolves. He's worth every penny of his current contract, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Wolves give him the extension he's been looking for.

I'll definitely agree that his best years were at Golden State, and that he's maybe lost a step or two in the past 10 years, but how many players in the league today are as good as Sprewell is at his age? Or at any age? He's still an elite player in the league in my opinion.

Do you advocate Sprewell getting $15 million next season (his current deal expires this year, right)? I think his playoff performance would warrant his contract, but it's not as if he put up those type of numbers consistently throughout last season.

And, I don't really see that he is one of the league's top 10 defenders at this point in his career. Potentially at his position (SG), but certainly not at any position (if that is the argument you were making).

It's a bit of a Catch-22 for the Twolves. They had no relative playoff success prior to last year until they add Spree and Cassell. Then both players sort of turn things around for themselves (Cassell in regular season and playoffs before injury; Sprewell in playoffs more than regular season) playing with KG. Now they feel they are underappreciated for some reason (Sprewell's feelings confuse me a bit more than Cassell's feelings), and are threatening to de-rail the team this year with their petty gripings unless they get more money, when both of them are at an age where performance usually only goes downhill from here.


I'll still hold my ground and say he's a top-10 defender in the league. If you disagree, that's fine. I think that since I see all 82 Wolves games a year, I might notice some things that others don't. Who knows?

If Spree comes through in the playoffs, like it was expected, how could the Wolves complain, especially since they got the #1 seed in the West? You can't argue that Spree was one of the 3 major contributors to the most successful regular season team in the West last year. I think Minnesota needs to do what they can to retain him.