CAVS WANT OLAJUWON: Cleveland coach John Lucas says the team will exhaust all its options to try to sign free agent center Hakeem Olajuwon. Olajuwon has spent his career with the Houston Rockets. His $16.5 million contract with Houston has expired.
Olajuwon was the NBA's Most Valuable Player in 1994, when he became the only player to ever to win honors as MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and MVP of the NBA Finals. He averaged 11.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.55 blocks in 49 games last season.
Other teams, including the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers, have publicly expressed their interest in acquiring Olajuwon. The Rockets have maintained they would like Olajuwon to finish his career in Houston.
EWING TESTIFIES AT TRIAL: Basketball star Patrick Ewing testified Monday that he twice received sexual favors from dancers at Atlanta's hottest strip club . Ewing, who signed as a free agent last week with the Orlando Magic, said he had visited the Gold Club , and was given special attention when owner Steve Kaplan and manager Thomas "Ziggy" Sicignano were present.
Prosecutors say Kaplan used the lure of sex to attract pro athletes and celebrities, cheated customers on their credit card bills, and funneled cash to New York's Gambino crime family.
A former stripper testified under a plea agreement that she performed sex acts or witnessed other dancers performing sex acts on celebrities including former NFL MVP Terrell Davis and Philadelphia 76ers center Dikembe Mutombo. Jana Pelnis testified that Kaplan paid her $400 after she and another dancer put on a sex show for Ewing.
HOUSTON RE-SIGNS WITH KNICKS: Allan Houston now has a larger contract than the ones given to Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Jerry Stackhouse and Vince Carter.
Houston claimed he is better than all of them after he signed a six-year, $100 million contract that makes him the highest-paid shooting guard in the league. Houston averaged 18.7 points last season, his fifth with the Knicks. Eleven other NBA shooting guards had a higher scoring average.
FINLEY STAYS A MAV: Michael Finley re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, getting a seven-year contract worth more than $100 million.
Finley became a free agent when he opted out of his contract after last season. Finley has been with the Mavericks for 4 1/2 seasons.
He made the All-Star team for the second straight season this year and helped the Mavericks to a 53-29 record, their best since 1988. Finley, 6-foot-7, led the NBA in minutes played (42 a game) and was the team's second-leading scorer at 21.5 points per game. He also averaged 5.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists.
"I always expected Michael to re-sign with us and he has," general manager and coach Don Nelson said. "We have built the team around him and will continue to do so."
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he was excited that Finley will be there to lead the team for a long time "and hopefully take us to championship levels."