Several weeks ago, I had an argument about NBA salaries with several friends, who happened to be huge fans of the NHL, MLB, and NFL, but they are very anti-NBA.
They aggressively attacked underperfoming NBA players and players who are paid millions to ride the bench. They included role players and even some "superstars".
Immediately, I refuted their biased attacks. I explained to them that NBA players, unlike football players, are more recognizable because their faces can be seen by fans.
I brought up the fact that individual players like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard can offer numerous memorable highlights in a 48-minute game. In constrast, players like A-Rod or Jeter may make no spectacular plays during the course of a game due to baseball's slow pace.
When the ESPN highlights are on, basketball dominates the show. As a result, basketball players are more marketable than other athletes, which translates to more money.
Lastly, I pointed out that players fill up the seats, not the organization. As long as owners are profiting and making a bunch of money, then NBA players should be rewarded. If Wall Street CEOs can get $40 million bonuses for mediocre-to-above-par work, then NBA players should get rewarded for filling up seats, winning games, and drawing endorsements. Good work should be rewarded.
Yet, with the downturning economy, very few NBA owners have been profiting lately. In fact, many of the smaller-to-average market teams are losing money, even to the point that they had put in loan requests to David Stern. Considering the financial woes of the NBA, my friends were partially right about underperforming players being a financial detriment to their team.
With that in mind, which of the NBA’s version of overpaid executives (players) should be penalized or, at the very least, should volunteer to give back their salaries?
Note to readers: NBA players receive full health benefits, free visits to team physicians, doctors, and surgeons. Their uniforms are paid for, they fly for free on team planes, and they get free hotels with food prepared by team chefs. The organization basically covers for all their team-related expenses. For players who are not working overtime (playoffs), they can receive up to six months of vacation.
Jermaine O'Neal's statistics with both the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat are fairly average for an NBA center: 13 pts, 6 rebs, and 2.0 blks. He is also shooting 47 percent from the field.
Not bad, right? Not!
To the surprise of many people, he is currently the fourth-highest paid player at $21,352,500 per season. JO is on his way to playing 70 games this season and averaging 30 minutes per game. The guy is being paid $305,000.00 for 30 minutes worth of work every other day.
Extra perks: 12 paid sick days out of 82 working days!
Andrei Kirilenko is currently averaging 11.4 pts, 4.8 rebs, 2.6 ast, 1.2 stls, and 1.2 blks while shooting 44.6 percent from the field. These numbers aren’t bad at all, especially for a player that is more geared towards defense.
However, Kirilenko started his career with numbers that made fantasy basketball owners drool. Those who had him on their fantasy teams adored him, and many fans had him as the No. 1 pick in their leagues.
In 2005-2006, for example, his numbers (15.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.5 spg, and 3.2 bpg) made him one of the most valuable free agents in the market.
What happened to him?
He is no longer playing for a huge contract. Kirilenko is currently on the Top 20 List for highest-paid players at $15,080,312 per season. He is going to play about 67 games this season at 27 minutes per game. That translates to about $225,000 per game.
Extra perks: 13 paid sick days out of 82 working days, and a super-model wife who allows him to sleep with another woman once a year.
Elton Brand was signed this year to carry the front-court load for the Philadelphia 76ers. The organization signed him to a $87,000,000 contract for five seasons ($14mil – 18mil/year).
The 76ers hoped Brand could help them secure a first-round playoff win and potentially push a young, but talented team through the latter rounds.
Instead, Brand played 29 subpar games (averaging 13.8 pts, 8.8 rebs, 1.3 ast, 0.6 stls, 1.6 blks while shooting 44.7 percent from the field) before suffering another season-ending injury. What’s more disturbing is the fact that the 76ers played better with Brand out of the lineup than in it.
This season, the Sixers organization is paying him $482,758.62 per game with 53 sick days out of 82 working days. Brand has done this to his previous employers, so I guess some of the blame should go to the 76ers for failing to do a background check?
Not much was expected of Ben Wallace except for him to stay healthy and play some solid defense for the Cleveland Cavaliers. After all, the Cavaliers and their fans were happy to see anyone replace Larry Hughes (via 2008 trade), his injuries, and the dark cloud he brought to Cleveland.
Regardless of the Cavaliers fans' hatred of Larry Hughes, they should not go easy on Ben Wallace, a 35-year-old PF being paid $14,500,000 this season. In addition, he also has the worst free throw shooting percentage in the history of the NBA and is only getting worse by the day.
Thus far, he has played a total of 56 games and went on the Injured List on several occasions. He is making $258,928.57 for every 23 minutes that he is on the floor. He is paid this exorbitant amount to score 3.0 ppg, to grab 6.5 rpg, to tally 1.3 bpg and, most importantly, to miss as many free throws as possible.
At 65 games, this is one of Baron Davis’ healthiest seasons in the past eight years. Like Elton Brand, he was brought to Southern California to provide some leadership to a young team and help them make the playoffs.
After EB bolted for Philly, no sane basketball fan expected the Clippers to make the playoffs. Losing was expected.
Despite playing a “healthy” 65 games, he still took 17 paid sick days out of 82 working days while working 34 out of 48 minutes every other day. Rumor has it that he wasn’t “that injured,” and there was a possibility that he did not want to play.
At an average of $13,000,000 per year, that translates to basically a bi-daily salary of $200,000. $200k for every 34 minutes he is in the lineup, while averaging 15 pts, 8 asts, 1.7 stls, and a field goal percentage of 37.4. Those stats are not bad for an average point guard, but no player for any organization should be paid that amount of money to lead a team to 19 victories.
Maybe the Clippers played an April Fool’s joke on all of us since the signing? Yeah, they probably did. They paid him $13 million to help lead the charge to Lottery Day and increase their chances at landing Blake Griffin, right?
Tracy McGrady is Tracy McGrady—Mr. “We’re finally getting out of the first round”, Mr. “If we lose, it’s on me”, or is it Mr. “I’m so hungry for a championship, I’ll eat hot soup with my fingers”.
Year after year, Mr. Tracy has proven that his words and his back are as soft as Mac N’ Cheese. For the twelfth season in a row, Mac N’ Cheese has failed to play a complete season.
This one is especially upsetting because the Rockets, with the acquisition of Ron Artest, was expected to be a top contender and to compete with the Lakers for the top spot in the West.
As the sixth-highest paid player in the game at $21,126,874, he averages 15 pts, 4.4 rebs, and 5.0 ast, but he plays little to no defense. At 35 games, he billed the Rockets organization and their fans at a rate of $603,000 per game (or every 33 minutes he pretends to play basketball).
Not only is he wasting Houston’s money; he has wasted Yao Ming’s youth and talent and Ron Artest and Shane Battier’s great defense. He also left a perfect supporting cast(Aaron Brooks, Luis Scola, Carl Landry, and Jarvis Hayes) dryer than the state they play in. Give them their money back!
There is not another player in the league that, in the past 10 years, has been more injury plagued than Larry Hughes (except for maybe Grant Hill).
In his first five seasons, he averaged approximately 50 games per season. In the last five years, he has averaged approximately 35 games per season. At 54 games played so far this year, for both the Knicks and the Bulls, it has been one of his better seasons, health wise.
Unfortunately, for the teams he had casted his dark spell of clouds upon, $12,827,676 is a lot to pay for an offensive liability with the inability to stay healthy. A shove or a push will injure this guy.
Plus, Hughes' teammates have seen more bricks than the Great Wall of China (He shot 41.1 percent in Chicago and 38.0 percent in New York).
Lastly, unless Mr. Hughes gets paid to sit, he will most likely be unhappy with his situation.
Eddy Curry is getting paid $10,000,000 per season to simply keep his body in shape. The Knicks didn’t even ask him to play a single minute.
I don’t want to say anything mean about the guy because of his family tragedies, but I’ll put it this way. EC has received 82 paid sick days out of 82 possible work days. Oh wait, does playing a total of 9 minutes in 3 games count?
In translation, Eddy Curry was paid more than $1,000,000 for each minute he was on the court. But, then again, it’s not his fault Isaiah Thomas was writing out checks to anyone that has more than two to three decent games per season.
I would say give the Knicks organization their money back, but since it’s team owner is a very rich loser for life, I could care less. MSG is going to sell out every game anyway.
Stephon Marbury, this season, is only the ninth-highest paid player. Last year, he was third. Playing in 21 games and 17 minutes per game, he has averaged 3 pts, 3 ast, 0.4 stls, 0.1 blks while shooting 33 percent.
Wow? That means he has been paid $333,333.333 per point scored so far this season. Yes, I know my math is off by a couple of numbers, but you get the point.
Anyways, I don't know why anyone would pay millions for cancer. Marburycular is the most contagious form of cancer that can quickly tear apart or destroy the bond or chemistry of young molecular units called TEAM.
I first thought society had become ridiculous when people had to pay for water, and planters had to pay for dirt. But organizations actually pay for cancer? Can we really blame these teams though? Marbury, in the past several years, has been the Bernard Madoff of basketball…the best salesman, a “bona fide” hustler.
In the past two seasons, Gilbert Arenas has played 15 games. That is a total of 478 minutes of work in the past two seasons.
With a hefty $100+ million contract, Gilbert Arenas, in the past two season, has been making a bit under a $85,000.00 for every minute he is on the court. If you only account for this season, he is making approximately $322,000.00 for every minute played.
With 80 paid sick days out of the 82 working days, Gilbert Arenas deserves more criticism than anyone in the NBA. Judging from his blog, he has definitely spent more time on the Internet than doing work. There was a study released earlier this month that surfing the Internet helps productivity, but I don’t think they used Gilbert Arenas as a test subject, did they?