NBA PM: NBAers Still Making Bank
Average Is Still Pretty Sweet
Even after conceding revenue and contract regulations to the owners, NBA players still have a great thing going. Talent and hard work give them a yearly salary that outpaces some countries’ GDPs, but the fact that they play basketball—a popular professional sport that has between 12 and 15 players on a roster as opposed to 53, like an NFL team—is what makes being an “average” NBA player a sweeter gig than any other professional sport.
By the end of the 10-year collective bargaining agreement, even after everything they’ve relinquished to the owners, players will average $8 million in salary, according to executive director Billy Hunter who wrote a letter to the players that was obtained by Bloomberg.
Bloomberg reporter Mason Levinson:
“The average pay in the NBA, with a revenue of $4.3 billion last season, already is the highest among major North American professional team sports.
Salaries averaged $5.2 million last season, according to NBA.com. National Football League players, who signed a labor deal in August, averaged $2.2 million at the halfway point in the season, NFL Players Association spokesman George Atallah said in an email. Major League Baseball salaries averaged $3.3 million on opening day last season, according to the Associated Press. The average pay in the National Hockey League was $2.4 million according to figures compiled by Yahoo! Sports.”
Naturally, Hunter’s letter was written to persuade players to ratify the settlement. Before that can happen the players have to reform the union, the owners have to recognize that union (“Don’t I know you?”) and a contract would have to be negotiated. Levinson writes that the contract could be in the players’ hands by next week, which is when they can choose to either ratify or reject it.
Hunter wants players to approve this because it included a revenue shift from “high-revenue to low-revenue teams,” and that helped soften the financial blow the owners originally had planned for the players.
“We believe the settlement agreement is a fair one that may rightfully serve as the basis for negotiations over a new 10-year CBA,” Hunter wrote in the letter, before concluding it by saying, “We appreciate your trust and solidarity and look forward to working throughout the process described above in the very near future so we can get back to doing what we all want to do: play basketball.”
It’s hard to imagine any player disagreeing with that sentiment.
DeMar DeRozan DeClines
DeMar DeRozan didn’t hide his displeasure with the use of props at last season’s Dunk Contest. So rather than wait to see if the NBA will do away with the stunts at this year’s event (and yes, there is still an All-Star Game weekend planned in Orlando), one of the NBA’s best dunkers is going to be seated at the Amway Center rather than flying through the air.
“Probably not,” DeRozan told HOOPSWORLD’s Eric Pincus at Baron Davis’ “For the City” charity basketball game on Sunday. “I want to be a spectator now.”
DeRozan wasn’t definite about his decision, but he was very certain about his desire to return to NBA basketball. Like many players (the exceptions of whom will be obvious by the end of the month), the Raptors swingman has stayed active during the lockout so he’d be prepared to return at a moment’s notice. What he learned was that working by one’s self isn’t as fulfilling as playing and working in the league.
“We’ve been dying,” DeRozan said. “You work out every day. Play with each other every day. It just feels good getting back to work, getting back to our fans and what they’ve been waiting on.
“I think with this off time I’ve been able to work all aspects of my game, try to get better and be the best player I can be as soon as the season gets back and get things rolling,” he continued.
DeRozan wouldn’t get into specifics, but he insists he’s “confident” in his improvements, and is relieved that he didn’t go overseas to work.
“Yeah, that’s always a thought that was eating away at all of us,” DeRozan said of playing in Europe or Asia. “It definitely feels good that we’re going back to work.
“I think a lot of people are really seeing how much the league meant to us on a basketball standpoint,” he continued. “Without it, I think all of us were dying to play. It will just feel good to get back on the court.”
DeRozan isn’t back out on the court yet, but at least when he returns, it will be as an NBA player.
Grading David Stern
Commissioner David Stern isn’t asking to be loved by NBA fans, and that’s a relief, because they’re probably not going to sending him any “thank you” cards when the work stoppage officially ends.
However Shaun Powell of NBA.com did recognize some of Stern’s accomplishments in his latest piece. Obviously the news outlet in question has some allegiance to Stern, but if you can take yourself away from that you’ll see that Powell makes some great points. This league is better today than it was when Stern came aboard, and a lot of that has to do with Stern’s ability to build a consensus. There are 29 different ownership groups in the NBA (Hornets are currently owned by the NBA) and probably twice as many opinions on an given league matter. The fact that the NBA only lost a month that, as Powell puts it, “belonged to football anyway,” is one of, if not the greatest accomplishment of Stern’s career.
Nobody is going to love everything Stern has done, but Powell makes a good argument for why Stern will leave this game in better shape than he found it.
Check Out: Glen Davis
Glen Davis is a soft touch, so who better to give agitated NBA fans a laugh now that this long lockout business is over with?
The free agent builds a replica of Boston’s TD Banknorth Garden and knits Paul (presumably Pierce) a sweater in this “Thank you” to basketball fans. The irony of all of this is that Davis might be knitting sweaters for different teammates and turning Popsicle sticks into arenas other than Boston’s in the near future. There is no guarantee that the cash-strapped Celtics will be able to keep both Davis and restricted free agent Jeff Green.
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