In the midst of what would seem to be an insane spending spree by NBA owners, please consider that they didn't get rich by making poor business decisions. . . .
But wouldn't Alonzo Mourning be equally as happy making $35 million over seven years as he will be making $105 million as long as his salary was higher than any other center except perhaps Shaquille O'Neal? . . .
With contracts skyrocketing, the fan who couldn't afford a $100 ticket now won't be able to afford a $150 ticket. . . .
Count the New York Knicks among the top teams in the league now that they have a probable starting lineup of Patrick Ewing at center, Larry Johnson and Charles Oakley at forwards, and Allan Houston and Chris Childs at guards. . . .
John Starks has always been cast best as a sixth man. . . .
Coach Jeff Van Gundy also will be able to call upon first-round draft choices John Wallace, Dontae' Jones and Walter McCarty off the bench. . . .
Good luck to new Charlotte Hornet Coach Dave Cowens, who will need plenty of it. . . .
Kobe Bryant will be a guest on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on NBC Wednesday. . . .
The George Zidek Basketball Camp will be today through Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica. The camp is free to children ages 7-13 who join the club for a fee of $5. The staff will include Zidek's former UCLA teammate Tyus Edney. . .
I sense a lot less interest in this year's Dream Team than in the original four years ago. Nothing unique, no Jordan, no Magic, and, once again, no competition. . . .
Ever notice that on-deck hitters rarely stand in the on-deck circle? . . .
George Burns once hit for the cycle for the New York Giants. He did it in 1920. But he is not to be confused with the comedian who recently died at 100. . . .
Dodger left-hander batters Dave Hansen, Wayne Kirby and the departed Milt Thompson were seven for 57 as pinch-hitters going into Monday night's game. . . .
"Rock Newman clearly lit the fuse," HBO commentator Larry Merchant said about the riot that broke out after Andrew Golota was disqualified for the low blows he delivered to Riddick Bowe last Thursday at Madison Square Garden. . . .
"Newman has done it before in some lesser incidents," Merchant said about Bowe's manager-promoter, who rushed into the ring. "He's the kind of guy who imposes himself on his fighter. He surrounded Bowe with some goons, not just in the corner, but also around the ring." . . .
Blow-by-blow announcer Jim Lampley gave sidekick George Foreman credit for helping to keep the rest of the HBO telecasting team out of harm's way, but Merchant said he never felt in any peril. . . .
"I stayed by the ring because I felt I had to be there and I figured there were no bullets flying with my name on them," Merchant said. . . .
Merchant said the first thing Bowe told him in the dressing room after the fracas was that he wanted a rematch. . . .
"The people around Newman decided to exact street justice and retribution for the low blows," Merchant said. "The irony is that except for the low blows Bowe was going to get knocked out, and now everybody will get rich in the rematch." . . .
Local favorite Yory Boy Campas has signed to challenge newly crowned World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Jose Luis "Mastrito" Lopez on a Don Chargin promoted card Aug. 16 in Sacramento. . . .
Daniel Komen, who smashed the two-mile record by nearly four seconds Sunday in Finland, wasn't good enough to make the Kenyan Olympic team in any distance event. His time was 8:03.54, the equivalent of back-to-back 4:01.77 miles. . . .
It's a shame that Tom Watson, who has regained some of his form this year, has a shoulder injury and won't be able to try for a sixth British Open championship. . . .
Cigar's companion, Jerry Bailey, will be at Hollywood Park on what is being billed as Super Sunday to ride Serena's Song in the $250,000 Vanity International Handicap and Wrightwood in the $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship for Wayne Lukas. . . .
Trainer Billy Mott on Cigar: "What more could he do? Run backward singing 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' or something?"