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Mikki Moore and Money Money Money

The hopelessly starry-eyed naive side of me always wants to believe that players move from team to team looking for a chance to win, or improve the chances of their new squad to win. I'd like to think that after careful analysis of the current squad, and self-inspection as to their particular skill set, players are occasionally willing to play for less than the top dollar in the name of going after a trophy.

But... it seems I might as well rent a bunch of Disney DVDs or sit down for a marathon viewing of the Lifetime network if I want sappiness of that nature, because more likely than not, for professional athletes, it's all about the bling.

Mikki Moore, the latest Kings acquisition, says as much in a piece from the Staten Island Advance, where he says he'd have loved to remain a Net, but the amount of money the Kings offered him was too much to refuse, as he gained pressure from all corners, including his agent and other players.

Money quotes:

"(The Nets) offered me 10.3 (million). Sacramento offered me 18 (million). That would have been a lot of money to leave on the table."
"...I was thinking to myself, 'Should I take that cut? Should I take that cut?' but my agent was like, 'I'm not going to let you do this.'"
"(Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson) told me if I turned down a lot of money, they were going to fight me," said Moore, who is engaged and plans to marry next summer. "They know it's a business and they knew I wanted to play with them. And I know that they wanted me back, but they told me I have to think about my family and the long-term."

He's absolutely right, because 10 million can only get you so far these days, what with the price of gasoline, movie tickets and everything...

It's obvious why his agent told him to go for the higher pile of cash. That's how he makes his living. It's understandable that his fellow players want him to make more, so they in turn can command more... but what's missing from this conversation is anything like "I joined Sacramento because they could really use a guy like me," or "I joined the Kings to challenge for a title..." Instead, it's all about the money. Money, money, money.

Considering we're set up to give Kenny Thomas $23 million over the next three seasons, and says the guy "appears to be on cruise control", can we continue to afford to throw big cash at guys whose sole goal it is to get paid? Or am I too much of a fan and not enough of a realist to expect it's about more than the Benjamins?