Open Mic: The Most Powerful Sports Figure Is...Money

Divya ParmarSenior Analyst IJuly 8, 2008

Don't lie.  You know it as well as I do.

Everything comes down to the Almighty Dollar.  The Buck.  The George Washington.

It affects everything in sports these days.  Take a look at the situation of the former Seattle Supersonics.

Clay Bennett was going to lose money if he stayed.  He also would have to pay for an arena out of his own pocket.  He was too cheap to pay for his own arena and wanted public financing to do it for him, but since that didn't happen, he bolted for Oklahoma City.

How about Baron Davis?  In Warrior Land, we loved him.  "We Believe."  We thought he cared about us and loved the Bay Area and wanted to stay.

But alas, he went to the Clippers for the money.  It hurts, but we understand.  Baron sold out, and he couldn't care less about the Warriors fans that supported him.

Money runs sports today in huge part because of free agency.  The money has created a setting where players jump from team to team to get paid.  This breaks up teams, prevents championships, and kills dynasties.  Rivalries died when free agency started.

All of this because athletes, like the rest of us (we would do the same), want to paid as much as possible.  This goes for everyone, including owners as well.

Look at the NFL's possible strike in 2011.  It's all about money.  All the dominance of the NFL today could be thrown away because of petty disputes over small percentages of money between owners and players.  It doesn't make any sense, but it's just the way it is.

With all this money, athletes today are judged on salary more than ever before.  Look at Barry Zito.  He's getting ripped to pieces over the money he's making.  Kevin Brown and Mike Hampton went through the same criticism over their huge contracts.

Our favorite players leave because of contract disputes.  We all learn the hard way that sports is just a big business.  Players don't have loyalty or selflessness.  They hold out and demand trades all for the cash.

It sucks, buts that's just the way it is.

As someone once said, "It's all about the money."