If you are a member of a union, Labor Day is definitely a day in which you should look back, reflect, and thank those who came before you and made life easier for you in the workplace.
In the NBA, many players in the union have a lot to be thankful for given that the average annual NBA salary exceeds $5,000,000. Of course, there are some players who should be especially thankful as they are making twice the NBA's average salary.
Below is my list of the 10 most overpaid players in the NBA who are reportedly scheduled to make more than $10,000,000 a year that are counting their blessings around the grill today.
10. Kenyon Martin
Martin gets the 10th spot honor over Hedo Turkoglu because Martin's game on the offensive end is so limited. Martin averaged 11.5 points and 10 rebounds a game last year—very solid numbers—but when you are getting paid $15.8 million a year, don’t you have to create a little fear in the hearts of your opponents on the offensive end?
9. Peja Stojakovic
Peja has always been a dangerous downtown threat from beyond the arc. but given that he is only averaging 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists a game, he is an overpaid specialist at $14.26 million a year. In contrast Chris Paul, "Mr. Do Everything" for the Hornets, is being paid $14.9 million a year.
8. Ben Gordon
Gordon had a down year in Detroit, posting 13.8 points, 2.7 assists, and 2 rebounds a game. Maybe Ben was trying to justify getting paid $10.8 million last year. Gordon will have to step up his game this season and take better care of the ball after averaging 1.9 turnovers a game last year.
7. Mike Dunleavy Jr.
The former Duke standout is set to get paid $10.56 million next year, and averaged only 9.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists a game for the Indiana Pacers last year. While Dunleavy is an interesting player because of his ability to play multiple positions, he does not possess nearly the same talent as Danny Granger (24 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) who is under contract for $10.97 million. Maybe Mike is like his father and has a second or third job with the Pacers.
6. Elton Brand
Philadelphia made no secret of the fact that Brand was on the trading block this offseason and for good reason. Brand’s contract, calling for him to be paid $14.85 million this year, is preventing the 76ers from rebuilding their franchise. Brand’s production of only 13 points and 6 rebounds a game is making it difficult for the team to move him.
5. Andrei Kirilenko
Kirilenko is a very good player but his production in the NBA doesn’t justify his $17.8 million salary. Andrei averaged 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists for Utah last year. Maybe Kirilenko will justify his salary next year given that the Jazz offense will come through him more now that Carlos Boozer has gone to Chicago. Of course we may also find out just how good Paul Millsap is this year.
4. Erick Dampier
Defense wins championships, but paying Dampier $13.07 million appears to be too high of a cost to pay. Erick had 6 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest last year, but the interesting statistic on Dampier is that he only averaged more than 10 points and 10 rebounds a game once in his career (2003-2004 when Dampier played for the Golden State Warriors).
3. Rashard Lewis
In most years he would have a very good shot at being at the top of the list given that he is scheduled to make $19.57 million this year. His production during the regular season (14.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.5 assists) does not justify him being paid more than the players who have won the MVP the last five years. Couple that with Lewis’ disappearing act during the playoffs, and you have a compelling case.
2. Eddy Curry
It is tempting to give Curry a break given that injuries have limited him to only 10 appearances in the last two seasons. The only problem with that line of thought is that Curry’s alleged behavior off the court has been so erratic that you can’t overlook how detrimental he has been to himself and his team.
Yes, Michael Redd and Yao Ming are scheduled to make more than Curry and missed all or most of last season, but neither Redd nor Ming were charged with sexual harassment, sued for defaulting on mortgage loans, and rumored to have been unable to stop eating to the point that their career was being put in jeopardy. Hopefully, Eddy gets his personal life turned around.
1. Gilbert Arenas
Arenas was the only real choice for the No. 1 spot. He is scheduled to make $17.73 million this season despite giving the entire league a black eye and setting the Wizards franchise in a tailspin with his gun-toting antics and subsequent criminal conviction. It is hard to imagine anyone who should be more thankful for his union. God bless America. What a great country.