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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Greeks Sue Wilkins for No-Shows

BOSTON -- A team in the Greek basketball league is suing Dominique Wilkins, claiming he repeatedly left without permission and faked injuries to avoid playing.


The Panathinaikos team, in a suit filed last week, asked the court to freeze $4 million in letters of credit granted Wilkins as part of the three-year, $11 million deal signed last summer.


The court issued a temporary restraining order. The suit was filed on June 27, three days before the team was to pay a $1.75 million advance on his 1996-97 salary of $3.5 million.


Steve Kauffman, Wilkins' lawyer, told the Boston Globe on Wednesday that the lawsuit was "totally bogus."


"They are trying to default on the contract and contriving things that did not happen," he told the newspaper.


The suit cites four examples of Wilkins leaving the team to attend to injuries or personal matters.


In one, Wilkins left to attend his father's funeral but was five days late returning and missed what the team said was a very important game in Madrid.


The suit cites another incident three days before the fifth and decisive game of the Greek Basketball Championships, which Panathinaikos lost. The team disputed Wilkins' claim that he was hurt.


Panathinaikos "lost the game by a wide margin in large part because of Wilkins' desertion of the team and the resulting confusion on the part of his teammates," the suit says.


Wilkins did play when Panathinaikos won the prestigious European Championship last year. He was the tournament's Most Valuable Player.


"They got the championship, which is what they wanted when they signed Dominique," Kauffman said. "As far as we are concerned, he still has a valid contract with Panathinaikos."


The suit also said Wilkins demanded Panathinaikos pay his U.S. taxes, something the team said it was not authorized to do. The club paid the bill, more than $500,000, fearing Wilkins would leave.


Wilkins, a scoring star during 11 years with the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA, was a disappointment in his only season with the Boston Celtics.