TWO LITHUANIANS AMONG TOP 10 RICHEST EUROPEAN SPORTSMEN: Basketball player Arvydas Sabonis (left) is happy. He is the eighth highest paid European sportsman. EuroBusiness, the European business magazine, published a list of European sportsmen who have the highest income in 2000. The top 10 looks as follows: 1. Michael Schumacher (Germany, Formula One racing), 2. Lennox Lewis (England, boxing), 3. Naseem Hamed (England, boxing), 4. Rick Smits (Holland, basketball), 5. Martina Hingis (Switzerland, tennis), 6. Dennis Bergkamp (Holland, football), 7. Ralf Schumacher (Germany, Formula One racing), 8. Arvydas Sabonis (Lithuania, basketball), 9. Paolo Maldini (Italy, football), 10. Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Lithuania, basketball).
This year Sabonis, who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers, will earn 43,520,000 litas ($10,880,000) while Ilgauskas, playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, has an annual income of 41,820,000 litas. Both Lithuanian NBA multi-millionaires did not join the Lithuanian national team in the Olympic Games in Sydney because of leg injuries. After Lithuania's successful game versus the American "Dream Team" in Sydney, Sabonis called Ilgauskas and both giants have sworn that they would play for the Lithuanian national team in the future.