We Hear That's Why MJ Did It, Too
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 7, 2007 12:50PM
We know he's just a rookie. And we know that he only played one year of college ball, so he's really just hardly out of high school. But we still thought that Tyrus Thomas was more mature than he proved on Monday, when he told the Tribune repeatedly that he was participating in the Slam Dunk Contest during the NBA All Star Weekend festivities for the prize money.
Already pulling down north of $3 mil a year, and he's more excited about a few thousand dollars than he is about participating in the All Star Weekend activities? Hanging out with the biggest stars in the game? Trying to build upon the Bulls' proud legacy in the Slam Dunk Contest?
Bulls GM John Paxson quickly sent a message to his rookie that going for the money was the wrong answer, fining Thomas $10,000. That's quite a chunk out of the $16,125 - $35,000 Thomas can expect from participating, depending on where he places. Thomas said he was going to donate the money to his high school anyway. Oh, really? Why wouldn't you tell that to the Trib instead of flashing the dollar signs in your eyes?
Of course, while the Bulls acted swiftly to teach Tyrus a lesson, that doesn't mean the NBA can't un-invite him. And how will the judges -- the contest will be judged by Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Julius Erving, Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter -- view his efforts in light of his "love of the money?"