So word on the NBA streets is that Dwyane Wade yesterday became about 400 NBA players new favorite player. This is because at yesterday's labor negotiations, David Stern allegedly was talking to the NBA players present in a condescending manner and Wade had enough. He shouted back, "You're not pointing your finger at me. I'm not your child." For good measure, Wade kept on referring to Stern as "David." After the Wade smack down, the star players stormed out of the meeting and it took Billy Hunter to calm them down and ask them to return. Supposedly Hunter did this as a big favor to Stern who was facing a ton of embarrassment.
You can't blame Wade. He's severely underpaid compared to what a star like him generates for the league. Economists have speculated in an open market system the NBA elite stars would all be worth over $50 million a year. Here Wade took less than a max contract (makes about 15.5 a yr), so that he could add two stars to his team and now Stern wants NBA players to take a 20% cut and he wants rollbacks on contracts already signed. So imagine if you took less to stay at your job and then your boss all of a sudden didn't want to honor your contract and wanted you to now get paid an additional 20% less?
And before anyone mentions how overpaid athletes are and how the money should go to policemen and teachers, here are a few things to remember. One, stars in all industries get paid obscene amounts of money. Why? Because they bring in even more obscene amounts of money. George Clooney or Brad Pitt make more in one movie than an NBA star makes playing 100 games a year. Secondly, if athletes weren't paid millions, do you really think owners would give that money to policemen or teachers? No they wouldn't. They'd just buy more mansions.
If the players take a 20% pay cut, shouldn't ticket prices go down for us? Well they won't. I haven't heard one word from NBA owners or Stern that all this money that billionaire owners will save with this new CBA will benefit fans. This lockout is hurting fans and hurting the game. NBA owners aren't doing this for us. They're doing it to make more money.
Us diehard fans aren't going to abandon the game, but I wouldn't mind seeing some empty stadiums when/if this ever gets straightened out.
Sources on the Wade story: Yahoo! ESPN, CBS Sports basically everyone
JR 10/01/2011 12:44:00 PM Tweet