Marco Killingsworth, a 6-foot-7, 268-pound power forward who played college basketball at Auburn and Indiana, was bypassed in the 2006 NBA Draft but was offered the opportunity to participate in summer league action with the New York Knicks.
Instead, he declined that offer and attended the Orlando Magic’s rookie/free agent summer league and mini-camp. There, he was one of 13 free agents vying for a spot on the Magic’s roster or at least an invitation to veteran camp that begins in early October.
“Three other NBA teams have shown an interest,” said Daymeon Fishback, who serves as Killingsworth’s financial advisor. “He’d like to play at Orlando if they want him.”
The Magic had expressed interest in Killingsworth before the draft and had considered taking him in the second round. He was eager to impress coach Brian Hill during the Pepsi Pro Summer League in Orlando, Fla., from July 10 to 14.
Though Killingsworth played in four of Orlando’s five games, averaging 10 minutes per contest, he failed to make an impact. He averaged more turnovers (2.3) than points (2) while pulling down one rebound each game.
“If you don’t get the ball, you can’t score,” he said.
Dallas’ Owner With A Boner has fun afoul of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Jennifer Flloyd Engel, who can’t fathom why Avery Johnson is out of contract with the Mavericks.
In response to my e-mail trying to determine what exactly is going on, Cuban called the story “ridiculous.”
He did not elaborate when asked what portion he felt to be wrong; that he is unwilling to renegotiate Avery’s deal or that failure to do so may create or already has created problems between them.
What I found “ridiculous” was Avery’s pay ranks in the bottom third of NBA coaches, he is the lowest paid of the Western Conference playoff coaches, Cuban chose this moment with his coach to get randomly tough and randomly cheap, and he does not think Avery is worth the $1.5 million necessary to get him on par with Wizards coach Eddie Jordan.
So I e-mailed Cuban to ask: “What does it hurt to reward Avery for a good year?”
“Time to take a business class, Jen,” he responded.
Fair enough. My “A” in Walter Johnson’s statistics class, my lone business offering at Mizzou, was a long time ago. Let’s make a deal, though, Mark. If I enroll in Cuban’s School of Business, you have to take Common Sense 101.
Lesson 1: Do not tick off your most valuable employee.
Lesson 2: Do not draw a line in the sand with arguably the most popular sports personality going in Texas because you will lose. Especially now with plenty of Mavs precincts still fuming about your boorish Finals behavior.
Homework: Quit screwing around. Pick up your phone. Call Avery. Ask him how many millions, four or five, sound good to him. Then say, “In appreciation for everything you did this season, I’d be happy to pay that number.” Sign the deal. Start sending bigger checks.
…Clay Bennett with his buzz cut, pot-belly and uncomfortable smile. He looks always itchy in a suit and would rather roll in a wife-beater with boxers, pouring beer in his Sugar Puffs for dinner. Not very Seattle. He could even attempt suicide just to fit in and he STILL wouldn’t come off as a Seattleite or Seattle-ian or whatever you call them.