A new term for someone who marries way up

From Bill Simmons’ March mailbag, part two

Q: So a few of us were talking at lunch today and one of my co-workers was telling a story about a male friend who got engaged to someone completely out of his league but phrased it as, “He Marko Jaric’d this girl.” I loved the phrase. Why can’t it be used forever to describe this type of situation?
— Jimmy, Emmaus, Pa.

SG: The readers are on fire! Somebody alert the editors of urbandictionary.com that the world is being altered. My favorite movie example: Mikey getting Heather Graham in “Swingers.” Favorite TV example: The marriage in every ABC sitcom. Favorite celebrity example: Lyle Lovett getting Julia Roberts in her prime. Favorite multi-platform example: Turtle landing Meadow Soprano on “Entourage” and in real life. We all have a friend who Marko Jaric’d his girlfriend or wife, but I think there are three levels to the phenomenon:

Level 1: Just a pure Marko Jaric-ing. Your buddy can’t believe he pulled it off, neither can anyone else, and nobody is even jealous of him.

Level 2: He Marko Jaric’d her to the degree that, when he’s not around, his other friends talk about it incessantly and come up with rationalizations like, “Do you think her last boyfriend mistreated her in some way and she was ready for anyone?” or “Is he built like a camera tripod and he never told us?” There’s no answer. Just conjecture.

Level 3: The best of the levels, since this involves the buddies being so flummoxed by the relationship that they tease the girl to her face about being Marko Jaric’d — all good-natured stuff like, “Thanks for your ongoing charity with our friend” and “Do you realize you helped our friend overachieve for the first time in his life?” FYI: This can get dangerous if the wrong person is doing it after too many drinks. Regardless, I’m just glad Jaric finally made his mark in something. He was due.

The only pitfall I see with this is that Marko Jaric is rich — filthy rich. He has already made almost $29 million in his career and he’s guaranteed another $14.7 million over the next two years. Assuming he hasn’t blown much of that on coke and whores, he should be sitting pretty, financially speaking.

But Lima is no slouch either. She was #4 on Forbes’ list of the Top Earning Models in 2007 and 2008, making a combined $13 million over that span. So her salary equals that of her betrothed.

Given that the financial part of it is a push, it’s no different than if Jaric landed Lima had they met while working for $10.25 an hour at the Home Depot. She is out of his league in both situations.

So I approve — when one of your buddies engages or marries a girl that is out of his league, it’s okay to say that he “Marko Jaric’d” her.

Be sure to check out Women We Love: Adriana Lima.

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The NBA’s 68 worst contracts

The economy is really starting to take its toll on professional sports, and the NBA is no different. Bad contracts are bad even when the economy is pumping, but they really stand out in tough times like these. So I decided to look through the payrolls team-by-team to try to identify the worst contracts in the NBA. I expected to list 15-20 names, but I ended up scribbling down 68. That’s right, there are no fewer than 68 bad contracts in the NBA.

I didn’t include any of the players that are in the final year of their contracts because…well, what’s the point? They’ll be off the books in a few months anyway. Instead, I wanted to focus on those contracts that are going to haunt teams for years to come, so to be eligible, players have to have at least a year left on their current deals.

It’s tough to compare someone making superstar money to an average, everyday role player, so I split these 68 contracts up into three groups: the Overpaid Role Players, the Not-So-Super Stars and the Injury-Prones. I will rank them from least-worst to most-worst with the thinking that I wouldn’t trade the player for anyone further down the list but I would trade him for anyone previously mentioned. So, for example, if a guy is listed #7 within a particular group, I’m not trading him for anyone ranked #6-#1, but I would think seriously about moving him for a guy that is ranked #8+.

So let’s start with the role players and go from there…

(Note: In most cases, I don’t blame the player himself for his outrageous contract. The fault lies with the general manager that inked the guy to the deal. However, this rule goes out the window if the player has a history of only producing in his contract year – I’m looking at you, Tim Thomas.)

Read the rest after the jump...

2008 NBA Preview: #26 Memphis Grizzlies

Offseason Movement: The team acquired Antoine Walker and Marko Jaric as part of the deal that brought O.J. Mayo to Memphis in exchange for Kevin Love and some loose change. Walker is in the last year of his contract, while Jaric has three years and $21 million remaining on his deal. Neither player is likely to figure into the team’s long-term plans.
Keep Your Eye On: O.J. Mayo, G
Mayo is a highly touted combo guard. He showed some serious ability in college, but has struggled over his career with his maturity. However, he has more recently earned a reputation for being an extremely hard worker, which is one of the key components to NBA stardom.
The Big Question: Have the Grizzlies turned the corner?
Believe it or not, the 2007-08 season might have been the franchise’s low point. In addition to Mayo, the Grizzlies can now boast about a talented group of youngsters that includes Rudy Gay, Mike Conley and Hakim Warrick. The team also has Kyle Lowry, Javaris Crittenton and Darrell Arthur on the roster. Memphis projects to have a load of salary cap room over the next two summers, so if they can find a star power forward and/or center to run with Conley, Mayo and Gay, the Grizzlies may be a team to be reckoned with in two or three years.
Outlook: 2007-08 will be known as the season that the Grizzlies gave away Pau Gasol. In the short term, the move hurts the team’s chances to win games, but in the long term, it looks like it will help the Grizzlies get back to the land of respectability. Gasol’s contract runs through the 2010-11 season, so it is unlikely that the team would have had the cap space in the summer of 2010 to make a run at a star player. Now the team has a young core to build around and if they’re able to develop and add a couple of star/superstar veterans over the next two seasons, the Grizzlies will be back on track. One problem with that plan is the ownership situation, which continues to be in flux. In order to become a viable contender in the West, the team needs an owner willing to invest in its payroll.

Check out our NBA Preview page for a look at every team. We’ll be posting three previews per business day, which will take us up to the start of the season on Tuesday, October 28th.

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