Spending Spree got out of hand

Times Staff Writer

Apparently, Latrell Sprewell really was having a hard time feeding his family.

The former NBA star’s home is up for foreclosure and his yacht was sold at auction, according to filings in a Milwaukee court.

Sprewell, who once rejected a three-year, $21-million contract extension saying, “I’ve got my family to feed,” has failed to make his $2,593 mortgage payment since September.

His $1.5-million yacht was seized last summer and sold at an auction last month for $856,000, but Sprewell may still be responsible for the remaining $500,000 owed to the bank.

Sprewell, 37, was making $14.6 million a year from the Minnesota Timberwolves when he rejected the contract offer during the 2004-05 season. The four-time All-Star hasn’t played in the NBA since.


Trivia time

Sprewell attended the University of Alabama from 1990 to ’92. What seven-time NBA champion was his teammate there?

Water rockets

Speedo on Tuesday unveiled its latest competition swimsuit, the LZR Racer, pointing out that the expertise of NASA was used in its design.

In keeping with that imagery, Olympic star Michael Phelps was quoted as saying he feels “like a rocket” when he hits the water. After all, it has been said his swimming abilities are out of this world.

Dara Torres, who will turn 41 in April, tested the suit at the national championships in Indianapolis last summer and had a more worldly response. “I wanted to take the suit and sneak off with it,” she said, laughing.

Running man

Shaquille O’Neal practiced with the Phoenix Suns for the first time Monday, and the reviews indicate that it might take him some time to raise his conditioning to a level that will allow him to play in the Suns’ up-tempo system.

“A lot of running,” O’Neal said about the practice in an interview with the Arizona Republic. “This is something very different for me. I’ll just have to get in tune to what everybody is doing. I don’t want to be the one who slows us up, even half a millisecond.”

Plate parity

Georgia lawmakers are apparently in tune with their constituents when it comes to a dislike for the Florida Gators.

The Atlanta Gator Club, the local alumni group for the University of Florida, lined up the 1,000 people necessary to get a Florida Gators license plate approved by the state, which began issuing the plates, complete with Gators logo, this month.

Georgia also currently issues plates for Clemson and Auburn, but the Florida plates were the final straw for State Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson and House Majority Whip Barry Fleming, who plan to introduce a reciprocity law that would require South Carolina, Alabama and Florida to issue Georgia plates in order for Georgia to continue issuing plates recognizing schools in those states.

Sounds like a few too many lawmakers with not enough on their plates.

Trivia answer

Robert Horry.

And finally

Golfer Daniel Chopra won the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii and also won the Ginn sur Mer Classic at the end of last season, giving him earnings of more than $2 million since October.

He said that was enough to have him looking at real estate last week while playing the AT&T; Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the Monterey Peninsula.

“I’ve won twice in the last three months,” Chopra said. “I’m sure the mortgage brokers will be happy to see me coming.”