In light of the disturbing news out of the NFL that both the New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins had "bounty" programs in place where money was used as an incentive for defensive players to hurt the opposing teams' offensive players, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown was asked if he ever offered money to his players based on their performance.
"I did when I was in Cleveland," Brown said before the Lakers played the Sacramento Kings on Friday. "I used to give, I think it was $1,000 a month and the NBA said we’re not allowed to do that or else we’ll get fined as a club, so we stopped doing it. Anderson Varejao used to win it every month and everybody didn’t like it. They would complain, ‘Well, he got the most minutes! Well, he’s always down by the basket so he could take the charges.’ Blah blah blah blah. He was the usual winner."
ESPN's Shelley Smith reported during the 2010 NBA Finals that the Lakers had a similar charges for cash program, although the payoff was far more nominal: $50 per charge.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Varejao drew 28 offensive fouls in 2009-10, the last season Brown coached Cleveland. If Varejao led the team in charges every month of the regular season, it would have netted him $6,000 in Brown's system, but just $1,400 in the Lakers' $50-per-charge setup.
Derek Fisher leads the Lakers in charges drawn this season with 21, followed by Steve Blake with 11, Pau Gasol with seven and Matt Barnes with five.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter. ESPN Stats & Information's Alvin Anol contributed to this report.