Maloofs secure Bibby, but need to get Croshere

Aug 20, 2002 5:22 AM

Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened the Sacramento Kings at 9-2 to win the 2003 NBA Championship. After adding Keon Clark and re-signing Mike Bibby, the Kings are still 9-2.

The contagious enthusiasm of the Maloof brothers can’t change the fact that the Kings are still below the three-time defending champion Lakers. LVSC lowered Los Angeles from 7-5 to 6-5 after re-signing underrated Devon George and drafting rising star Kareem Rush from Missouri.

The Maloofs used fabulous Palms Casino Resort off the Strip to announce the Bibby signing, though it would have been nice to exclude David Falk from the dais. The less we see of player agents, the better.

Full marks to Bibby for choosing to stay with the Kings for less money ($80 million over seven years) than Falk wanted ($100 million).

"With the addition of Keon Clark and Mike, I think this is one of the better teams that has been assembled," Gavin Maloof said. "We’re putting it up against anybody."

Gavin is charming, but he’s mistaken. The Kings still need to get tough in the middle, and they need more than one option when it comes down to taking the final shot.

The Kings were a Peja Stojakovic basket away from beating the Lakers last year, but an ailing Stoyo threw up an air ball.

My suggestion is acquire Austin Croshere from Indiana. He’s available and has plenty of game. This is a bull, the type of grinder the Kings sorely need on the boards. Plus, Croshere has 3-point shooting range, which fits right in to the wide open Kings offense.

Get the 6-foot-9 Croshere and then I’ll start making plans for the big NBA title celebration George Maloof promised next year at The Palms.

—105 plus spa

Chris Day, Virgin River race and sports director believes using a —105 line will attract customers from Las Vegas to the Mesquite casino/spa.

"We’ll be doing it from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursdays at all three sites (Virgin River, Oasis and Casablanca)," Day said. "It will just be college the first week (Aug. 29), but after that it will be both college and pro."

Day will also have half-point teasers, half-point parlay cards, a Sunday-Monday card and an ultimate challenge cards. A free hat will be given for $20 bets at the Oasis.

Dave Pemberton, the Rio’s personable director of race and sports decided not to jump on the five-cent vig bandwagon for NFL games that Aladdin, Arizona Charlies East and Virgin River are adopting. Arizona Charlies is using —105 for three hours on Thursday.

"It’s break even at best, and more likely a losing proposition for the house," Pemberton said.

Aladdin is using the —105 line on all college and pro football games each Monday from noon to 9 p.m.

Wildfire contest update

Buffy McKinney, the dynamo at the popular Wildfire Casino, wants to clarify the $100 entry fee regarding the Beat The Best pro handicapping contest.

"People may have thought that the first prize was what the total purse was and I wanted to set the record straight," she said. "The total purse comes from 100 percent of the combined money, plus $5,000.

The $100 entry fee assures a highly competitive contest.

CLOSER: Two cheeks up to CBS reporter Jill Arrington for modeling her finer points.