The rebel, usually without a cause, Dennis Rodman thinks that players should bow down, give in or whatever else is synonymous with waving a white flag so the season can start back up.
As is his custom, the flamboyant Rodman didn’t leave quietly suggesting to reporters, when asked about the current NBA lockout, that NBA players should just take whatever the owners offer and get back to work. “I just think that … the players should bow down,” Rodman said. “They should bow down. In 1999, we (were locked out) and we missed half the season. The owners bowed down then. They gave the players everything. I think the players should do the same thing for the owners because today most of these teams are losing money. It’s not the players’ fault. It’s the owners’ fault. I think they should give a little bit and move on.”
Rodman insists he’s not taking the owners’ side in all of this but it’s apparent he doesn’t believe today’s NBA player deserves the kind of money he is getting. “I don’t think they work that hard because most of the players don’t give a damn about the game. They want the money. I’m not taking the owners’ side, I just think the players should look at themselves. ‘OK, I’m making $16-million or $17-million a year but what have I accomplished?’ Most of the players haven’t accomplished anything. That’s what you have to look at.”
I am in no way, shape, form or fashion saying that the NBA players should put on some pretty pink lipgloss and begin kissing the owners’ ass for the grand salaries they have been able to experience up until now. But, after it is being reported that a few players—ones that have not been present throughout the entirety of the labor negotiations in their grittiest state—came in to deny the 50/50 split between owners and players, my opinion of the work stoppage is leveled somewhere in the middle.
The NBA still does not give a damn about the fans. I believe this fervently without movement in light of another avenue. The disagreement is and always has been about money and respect. The NBA wants more money from the players because of how they screwed themselves in the CBA signed years ago and the players want the respect that they feel they have earned and deserve.
The salary caps, extensions and player exceptions are all fancy ways of relaying the facts that are as simple as grade school mathematics.
You give a man a cow for years on end and he comfortably makes his meals that he and his family can thrive on. He is expecting this cow. Tell that same man he can only have half and you have full control over how much he is able to feed his family, he will start a strike and overthrow your slaughterhouse.
The owners were giving all of these men paychecks, deserved or not, on an increasingly high pay scale for years. Who can blame the players for getting accustomed? Were most of them spoiled because only a small handful of men deserve a contract extended past $5 million over more than four years?
Yes. Most of the low-level and mid-level players were being treated like the adopted child. No one wants to tell him he is adopted, nor do they want him to feel left out so even he gets presents on your birth child’s birthday. You realize, “Hey, what the hell am I doing? I can barely afford to get one set of presents, how the heck am I getting by on two?”
That is what is going on with the NBA right now. There is nothing outlandish about high-level players such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose being paid with the contracts they were functioning with. They deserve it.
Even without a ring, the boost James gives any team he steps on, whether it is with Wade or his former teammates Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson. Kobe Bryant has contributed monumentally to the overall success and reputation of the Los Angeles Lakers organization. Derrick Rose has restored the Bulls’ brand and created a faith and stir in Chicago with his regular-season MVP win and capturing the best record in the league for the 2010 season.
Dwyane Wade allows his ring to speak for itself.
These men have contributed adequately to their franchises and will continue to do so for years to come. The problem with a higher revenue split, let’s say the 53 (once 57) percent the players are looking for, is players like Baron Davis looking to be paid $14 million for a single season.
The former LA Clippers’ “pass it to the big guy” role player and current Cleveland Cavaliers’ veteran/Irving tutor was due $14 million. There is not a single fan that could convince me or anyone else for that matter that he deserved that kind of money for his contributions to any franchise in the league. Yet, as Derek Fisher sat at the podium making his “these are the problems and we must stick together” speech, Davis was standing next to the veteran point guard stern-faced and ready to do business.
He should have been standing tall showing the public, the NBA included, that the NBPA is not just an association but a brotherhood. Kudos to him.
However, there should a have been a better representative than a prime symbol of why the NBA owners are fighting to get their money back. Davis is a mid-level player getting more than he is rightfully owed, and the NBPA seems to be fighting to keep the league operating this way.
Now, we have a dilemma on our hands. With all levels of players intertwined in the battle it is hard to see who deserves what, who should rescind and who should shut up, sit back and wait for the storm to pass. Sure Chris Paul deserves his cut of the pie. Kevin Durant does too.
But, look two spots over and three chairs back. Does Washington Wizards’ Rashard Lewis deserve $21,136,631 after about 13.0 per game and barely contributing to the forward acceleration of a franchise with the worst road record in the league?
Does James Posey deserve $7.6 million after zero starts in the 2010 season and zero participation in Indiana’s battle against Chicago in the postseason? What about paying Gilbert Arenas $19.3 million, about $1.2 million more than Dwight Howard was due for the 2011 season?
It is understood that the owners got themselves into this mess. They made their bed, but forcing them to lie in it until it reeks of debt and collapse is not something that sits too well with the owners at all. The players want them to eat dirt. Right their wrongs without tapping into their pockets where most of the wrongs are still being squandered.
The adopted child still wants his presents and the birth child still deserves his. Problem is, the owners cannot afford both.
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