“You know it’s sad when people don’t even hide their greed,” tweeted Dwyane Wade, all-star shooting guard for the Miami Heat.
Wade’s comments were aimed towards the NBA team owners, referring to the NBA lockout.
Kobe Bryant, all-star shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, has already decided to take caution. Bryant recently agreed to play in Italy for $5 million over the course of 40 days.
Dwyane Wade and other players around the league may want to consider doing the same, because it is not looking good for the NBA for this upcoming season.
Those greedy NBA owners that Wade was referring to are not willing to give in. The NBA has already cancelled its preseason and the first two weeks of the regular season, and now the league is talking about canceling two more weeks.
The NBA season was set to begin on Nov. 1. According to the Daily News’ source, this latest cancellation would total at least 102 games and run through Nov. 28.
As of right now, the NBA players’ salaries are paid from 57 percent of the NBA’s total earnings. The owners of the NBA want to cut that number from to 50 percent, approximately $300 million per year.
The owners also want to redistribute team payrolls and talent more fairly around the league. For the past few years, teams with high payrolls, such as the Heat and New York Knicks, have used their money to bring in massive amounts of talent.
For example, the Miami Heat spent nearly $250 million over six years to keep Dwyane Wade in Miami, while also allowing Lebron James to “take his talents to South Beach.” On top of that, Miami also enticed Chris Bosh with a huge contract to join Wade and James.
Another example of a team trying to create an unstoppable squad would be the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Amare Stoudemire were all baited to New York by enormous contracts.
This is the sort of thing the NBA owners are trying to avoid with the new deal. The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has proposed a deal that consists of cutting that 57 percent down to 53 percent, approximately $200 million per year.
But the owners aren’t willing to negotiate. The owners aren’t even willing to listen to a deal unless it is a 50-50 split.
When looking at the details, things start to get messy.
Although every team and every player will be effected by this deal, the seven teams with the highest payrolls—the Lakers, Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets (28 percent of league-wide salaries)—and the eight teams with the lowest payrolls—the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, Oklahoma City Thunder and New Jersey Nets (22 percent of league-wide salaries)—will be affected the most.
The NBA owners want teams with high payrolls to spend less on players and teams with low payrolls to spend more on players.
This is where things really start to get complicated.
How can NBA owners force teams such as the Bulls, who are already successful on the court, to spend money that they possibly don’t have on player salaries just to even out the payroll distribution around the league?
Where would the bottom-feeders of the league, such as New Orleans or Indiana, get the money to increase their payrolls in just one year?
How would the seven tax-paying teams reduce payrolls without rollbacks on existing contracts when 70 percent of their rosters are already under contract?
So many questions to be answered, and no one can answer them.
One must wonder what top free agents around the league, like Tyson Chandler, Tayshaun Prince and Caron Butler, are thinking about as this lockout goes forth. These are the players that will be taking the biggest pay-cuts of all.
If the league gets its way and the 50-50 split is granted, that will leave approximately $330 million for 117 free agents, about $2.8 million per player. And even if the split is cut to 53-47, that will still only leave $444 million, about $3.8 million per player.
Either way, it would be a huge pay-cut for Chandler, who made $12.75 million in 2010 with the Mavericks.
Why is a 50-50 split unfair? Think about Bryant, Wade, Derrick Rose, James and Carmelo Anthony. These guys don’t just play in the NBA. In a sense, they are the NBA.
The owners of the NBA are just tagging along for the ride, and getting paid in the process.
Some may argue that no one is worth the massive amount of money that these athletes make, and maybe they are right.
But one this is for sure: they are worth a heck of a lot more than the billionaire-boys-club that employs them. No one ever comes to an NBA game to meet the owners or to watch the owners as they sit in their boxes and smoke cigars.
The players are the workforce and the product of the league.
That’s why 50 percent of the NBA’s total income is a terrible deal for the men who are ultimately responsible for 100 percent of the NBA’s income.