Many Americans were hoping for a World Series home run Tuesday that would have scored them a free meal at Taco Bell. But Suns guard Raja Bell couldn't have cared less.
That’s not just because Bell can buy 4.75 million items off the dollar menu with this year’s salary. Turns out he’s got his own new deal with the Mexican fast-food chain — complete with a photo ID card that entitles him to as many burritos, tacos and chalupas as he wants at any location for the life of the deal.
“I haven’t used it yet. They asked me to give them three to four days to get the word out,” Bell said. “I don’t even know what I’m going to get. I think I’ll just order one of everything and see what happens. They told me I could take the whole team, there’s no limit.”
It’s a whole new world for Bell, who used to work at Taco Bell “back in the day” and reached the NBA by the long-way around. His breakout season and frank comments in Phoenix — buoyed by his altercation with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in the playoffs — have him in demand when it comes to media and advertisers.
Bell has a deal with a local Cadillac dealership, earning him a new “black-on-black” Escalade for the season. He’s keeping an Internet journal with ESPN.com and will be answering questions from fans all year. Interview requests are pouring in.
“It was an unfortunate incident . . . but there has been a silver lining,” Bell said.
BONUS SHOTS: Leandro Barbosa sat out Wednesday’s practice with the sore toe that forced him to miss Monday’s preseason loss to Seattle. He’s expected to try to go today . . .
Bryant, still recovering from offseason knee surgery, will miss the Lakers’ final tune-up game today. He missed the entire preseason and remains questionable for the season opener against the Suns Oct. 31 in Los Angeles. . . .
Bell on how slimmed-down teammate Kurt Thomas has looked in training camp. “I joke with him that I was a senior in high school when he was with the (Miami) Heat, and he didn’t look this good back then.”