The holiday season has arrived.
Thanksgiving dinners were consumed, for many the sun has disappeared, Christmas is approaching and apparently NBA fans still have much to be thankful for heading towards that ever-so-appealing Christmas day triple-header.
It appears that there will indeed be a 2011-2012 NBA season.
Both sides of the spectrum have reached what they call a "Tentative Agreement," meaning that both sides will have to sort out some nuts and bolts before an official agreement can be made, but this is nothing that a couple more days of talking can't handle, knock-on-wood.
One of the details that must be sorted out in coming days—something that has already stirred up some attention—is the Amnesty Provision.
According to the Summary of Principle Deal Terms (November 26, 2011), of the NBA's New Labor Proposal:
Each team is permitted to waive 1 player prior to any season of the CBA (only for contracts in place at the inception of the CBA) and have 100% of the player’s salary removed from team salary for Cap and Tax purposes.
For many players, this doesn't come as good news, and one player that will feel the brunt of this decision is Rashard Lewis.
In the summer of 2007, Lewis signed a six-year $118 million contract, making him one of the highest payed NBA players, all for who knows what reasons.
The NBA season resuming means bad news for Lewis, however, because should the Wizards cut him, he wouldn't receive any of the $22 million he was in line to collect for the upcoming NBA season.
There are some cases similar to Lewis': Brandon Roy (rumored to be cut), Baron Davis, Richard Jefferson, Gilbert Arenas and the list goes on, probably as long as the list Santa will see on Christmas day.
Teams saddled with miserable contracts now have the green light to release/cut players like Lewis, saving precious amounts of potential salary money to use towards actual big-time players, which should hopefully lead to more parity in the NBA.
The case of Rashard Lewis should serve as an example of what not to do in regards to signing mid-level talent to long-term deals.
We should all remember the almighty $118 million contract, the foolishness of the owners and most importantly, the average play of Lewis, just to emphasize the fact that things like this happen every year, even to washed up players like Lewis.
But please don't make Lewis a scapegoat, for if there was one thing we learned from the Steve Bartman case and the NBA lockout, it was to not put all of the blame on one person.
Everyone involved must share the blame for the NBA lockout; Lewis is just a corner piece in a puzzle that is hopefully nearing its completion.