Shawn Kemp’s comeback tour looks like it’s over before it started. The former Seattle Supersonic skipped a scheduled tryout with the Chicago Bulls yesterday, citing travel problems.
“I couldn’t make it from my table at the Olive Garden to my car,” says the once-high-flying, now-embarrassingly-overweight forward. “If you ask me, that’s travel problems. But can you blame me? ‘Never Ending Pasta Bowl’ is the most beautiful phrase in the English language.”
For the past two months, Kemp has been trying to bounce his way onto an NBA roster.
“I lost 130 pounds,” he said. “My vertical is off the hook – we’re talking, like, 38 inches – and I’m hitting regularly from behind the arc, like 65 percent. Hey, man, you got another one of those Snickers bars on you?”
Kemp was being considered to fill the Bulls remaining roster spot, but in hindsight, Bulls GM John Paxson was relieved that Kemp didn’t show.
“At the end of the day, the numbers didn’t add up,” Paxson says. “The league minimum salary is $366,931, and we estimate his food would come to just over $600,000. We need that million to pay for the backboards that Ben Wallace’s free throws are going to destroy at [the] Berto [Center].”