The practice of a prominent free agent or highly-touted rookie trying to cajole a new teammate into giving up his preferred jersey number is always good for agreeable ridiculousness, particularly when it leads to a breach of contract complaint or the returning player refusing to give or sell the new guy his number. Sometimes it is just a negotiating tactic, but that doesn't seem to be the case in Buffalo, where veteran Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay is refusing to give his no. 90 to prize free agent Mario Williams, because it's been his number for nine years and he likes it. It's unclear what offer, if any, Williams has made Kelsay (Eli Manning got no. 10 as a rookie by paying for Giants punter Jeff Feagles' family vacation in Florida. Two years later, Feagles traded no. 17 to Plaxico Burress for a new outdoor kitchen at his house in Arizona, a kitchen Feagles alleges never got built) but Kelsay told the Buffalo News the same thing he says he told Williams. That's he just "not interested" in a jersey pay off. The Bills wanted to have Williams apparel in stores by now, but they haven't been able to, because of the number uncertainty. It's reached the point where management is apparently going to just "assign a number to Williams very soon," a great way to end the honeymoon period with the biggest star to willingly join the Bills this millenium. [Buffalo News]
The Universities of Kentucky and Indiana won't square off in an exciting and tradition-rich regular season basketball game anytime soon. The two schools have played every year since 1969, but now the series is kaput, because Kentucky wanted the game to be played at neutral sites (which tend to be cavernous, uncollege-seeming, and stocked with private boxes and other revenue sources) while Indiana wanted to keep the home-and-home format. IU even apparently turned down an offer to play at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, prompting Kentucky coach John Calipari to declare: "We were willing to play them both in the state of Indiana and they said no to that. That means they don't want to play us." At which point the search for the perfect John Calipari epitaph was called off forever. [ESPN]
Michael Jordan's last few months have been less than exceptional. First his Charlotte Bobcats finished the shortened NBA season with the worst winning percentage in league history, despite his best efforts as owner and general (mis)manager. Now, allegedly, there's a lien against the $20 million house he's building in Jupiter, Florida. Apparently "Dallas-based Southwest Progressive Enterprise, which specializes in fancy stone-wall finishes, claims [Jordan] has yet to come up with $81,000 to settle the $202,600-contract" and they've taken the matter up with the Palm Beach County Clerk's office. [Gossip Extra via USA Today]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.