AL HAMNIK: Bad money becoming a common practice in NBA

2013-03-19T18:00:00Z 2013-05-08T00:07:05Z AL HAMNIK: Bad money becoming a common practice in NBAAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
March 19, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

People are losing their jobs each day.

Gas prices are up and down like a yo-yo.

Groceries cost a fortune for families big and small.

Men, women, even teens, are standing on street corners, holding canisters and begging for help.

This is America, 2013, land of opportunity, particularly if you can dribble and shoot a basketball.

The Bulls' Richard "Rip-Off" Hamilton, Kirk "Ouchie" Hinrich and Philadelphia 76er Andrew "Gimpy" Bynum are NBA stars, allegedly, though I wouldn't want them on my bench healthy or otherwise.

They can't be counted on, as history has shown.

They are injury prone, a red flag in any pro sport.

They have been overpaid much of their careers.

And still, their services are in demand despite their best years being long over. Unbelievable.

Hamilton has spent more time in street clothes than his uniform since that ill-advised signing in 2011-12. He's appeared in just 45 of the Bulls' 66 games this season.

Hinrich, who seems sidelined by a different injury every few weeks, has missed 22 games during his second tour with Chicago.

Complaining about these two bums won't bring them back any quicker but, gee, I wish someone in the Chicago media would have the guts to call out management for such stupid signings.

Instead, the Bulls are whining about offensive goal-tending calls (sorry, Joakim, it was) and wondering aloud when Derrick Rose will get his mind straight and return to save the season.

My gut feeling is if Rose doesn't suit up for Saturday's game with the division-leading Pacers, we'll likely not see him until next season when every doubt and excuse has been erased.

Perhaps by then, Miami will lose a game.

The folks in Philadelphia can't be showing much brotherly love for that front office's decision to lure Andrew Bynum away from the Lakers.

He will earn $16.5 million this season without ever playing in a game for Philly, which expected him to be the centerpiece of their team.

But Tuesday, the 25-year-old former All-Star center underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees.

Fortunately, not a dime of his outrageous salary will come out of Philly's pocket due to insurance coverage in the contract.

The Sixers are 26-40 a year after eliminating the Bulls in Round 1 and reaching the Eastern Conference semifinals.

You're telling me no one saw this coming in Philly or in Chicago with our two stiffs? No one did their homework before offering those three contracts?

Wish we common folk could all make a comfortable living sitting on our butts. In the NBA, you obviously can.

This column soley represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com

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