Just say no, Eagles are saying publicly

Updated: July 5, 2005, 9:48 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

There might be a holdout in Terrell Owens' summer, but apparently there won't be any hoops for the Philadelphia Eagles' star wide receiver.

Reacting to an ESPN.com story earlier in the day, Eagles team president Joe Banner said Friday evening through a club spokesman that Philadelphia would deny any request that sought to have Owens play basketball for the Sacramento Kings' summer league team. Director of football media services Derek Boyko said no such request has yet been made.

 Terrell Owens
Owens

It was a longer shot than a three-point buzzer-beater from half court, but in the latest twist to Owens' offseason saga, ESPN.com reported early Friday the wide receiver was invited to play for the Kings' summer league team. The invitation for Owens to join the Sacramento draft choices, free agents, a few young veterans and music mogul Master P on the roster was confirmed by agent Drew Rosenhaus and a Kings spokesman.

But there was one considerable caveat: Owens' latest roundball flirtation was actually in the Eagles' court. And, on Friday evening, Banner summarily swatted away Owens' shot.

Sacramento officials said they would allow Owens to participate only if the Eagles granted permission. Given the current state of affairs between the Eagles and Owens, who has skipped all the club's offseason workouts as he seeks to upgrade the seven-year, $49 million contract he signed last summer, it was not surprising that Banner said he would not provide such clearance.

"Obviously, he would love to do it, since he enjoys the game (of basketball) so much and it would be a unique conditioning tool," Rosenhaus said Friday morning. "But we'll see what happens. We don't know yet. The Kings certainly don't want any (potential legal) entanglements."

The Las Vegas summer league in which the Kings are entered begins play next week. A Kings spokesman said it is believed that the invitation was extended because of Owens' friendship with Sacramento owners Joe Maloof and Gavin Maloof.

Owens' interest in basketball is certainly well-documented. He played basketball for three seasons in college at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, starting five games in that stretch, and in the summer of 2002 appeared in five games for the Adirondack Wildcats of the United States Basketball League.

In 2000, Owens won the celebrity dunking competition at the NBA All-Star Game played in Oakland. He also has a full-size basketball court at his home in Atlanta that he uses as part of his personal conditioning program.

As for Owens' primary occupation, Rosenhaus said the situation remains status quo, but that he did speak with Banner recently.

Rosenhaus strongly hinted Owens would consider a trade, but said he has been denied permission by the Eagles organization to seek out potential trade scenarios, and that he knows of no current discussions to move his client to another team.

"Right now," Rosenhaus said, "I'm not sure what to expect."

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.

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