NBA Lockout: Each Los Angeles Laker's Money Lost
This Tuesday was to be the first day NBA players would receive paychecks for the presumable 2011-12 NBA season. Like any other employed worker, the players were counting on these salary stubs to be deposited into their bank accounts after two weeks of work.
Truthfully, the players are only one piece to the puzzle of lost wages. The owners, team employees, arena workers, local businesses, you name it—the whole basketball complex is economically affected by this lockout.
But with all this quibbling over basketball-related income (BRI) between the players and the owners, it's important to put the salary figures into context.
The following slideshow details the first missed paychecks of each Los Angeles Laker.
A 50-50 BRI split seems more than reasonable after taking a look at these numbers.
The Lakers salary for next year totals $91.31 million, the highest in the league.
It should be noted that Laker rookies Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock—and every other NBA rookie for that matter—have not entered into contracts with teams. While the teams own the draft rights to the players, the owners have yet to ink deals with their new players for obvious reasons.
Devin Ebanks: $30,684
The smallest wage earner on the Lakers missed out on a $30,684 payday this past Tuesday.
For some perspective, the U.S. annual median income in 2010 was $26,364.
Theoretically, Ebanks' one missed paycheck is more than the average American worker's income for the entire year.
Derrick Caracter: $32,870
Similarly, Derrick Caracter missed out on $32,870.
Both Caracter and Ebanks are in the second year of their rookie contracts, averaging approximately $750,000 per year.
Matt Barnes: $79,167
Matt Barnes, who took a pay cut to join the Lakers in his quest for an NBA championship, lost out on $79,167 of two-weeks work.
Barnes still has one more year under contract to determine whether this $79K bi-weekly, $1.9 million price tag was worth it.
Derek Fisher: $141,667
Derek Fisher has worked harder this offseason than any other player to get close to a new deal with NBA owners, making his missed paycheck of $141,667 the most meaningful.
And for all the hours and effort he has put into the negotiations, Fish is not paid for his work as the players' president.
This bears repeating: Derek Fisher's work as NBA Players Association President is unpaid.
The union picks up meals and travel expenses—that's essentially it.
Fish certainly deserves respect for his sacrifice.
Steve Blake: $166,667
Fish's backup, Steve Blake, lost out on $166,667 this Tuesday.
There were reports that Steve Blake was among a number of players that wanted to accept last week's proposal and get back to playing basketball.
Blake has since refuted those reports, saying he stands strongly behind union leadership (now "trade association" leadership).
Luke Walton: $236,667
Try not to break your computer screen, iPhone or whatever medium you are dissecting this information through, but Luke Walton was owed nearly a quarter of a million dollars this Tuesday.
Forever one of Mitch Kupchak's biggest blunders, Luke's contract is simply unbearable.
Luke picked up employment this offseason as an assistant coach for the Memphis Tigers basketball team, who I sincerely hope is paying him a fraction of this amount.
Metta World Peace: $282,943
Metta World Peace lost $282,943 this week, which may or may not have ended up in the Peace's pocket given his many salary pledges to mental health charities.
This media mini-mogul has surely corralled new sources of income during the lockout through his comedy tour, record label and shoe line.
Dancing With the Stars must pay pretty well, too, even if he was the first contestant voted off.
Lamar Odom: $370,833
Reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom missed out on a paycheck worth $370,833 this week.
Chatter over Odom's basketball plans outside of the NBA have been non-existent.
Content to remain stateside and pursue other entrepreneurial ventures like his clothing line, Rich Soil, and unisex fragrance, Odom should be able to weather this loss of income easier than most other NBA players.
Andrew Bynum: $631,570
Big Drew was owed 630 big ones this Tuesday.
Bynum has been cross-training this offseason to stay in shape and, like Lamar Odom, would probably remain stateside should the NBA season be cancelled.
Given Bynum's injury history and price tag, it's probably best that way.
Pau Gasol: $779,756
Pau Gasol lost out on $779,756, or €580,434.
The Spaniard would likely play for his former club FC Barcelona should the NBA season be cancelled and could potentially recoup some of this lost income.
With the plummet of the EUR-USD exchange rate, Gasol might prefer being paid in dollars.
Kobe Bryant: $1,051,833
This Tuesday, the highest paid-player in the NBA saw his paycheck of $1,051,833 go by the wayside.
Kobe Bryant won't even sniff at this million dollar loss, but should the season be cancelled, Kobe would likely sign a multi-million dollar contract with a foreign club.
Kobe's flight overseas could put pressure on owners to prevent a mass exodus out of the country or could strengthen the owners' hand in their anti-trust lawsuits by proving they aren't a monopoly as basketball employers.
The NBA's future and that of No. 24 both hang in the balance. But through all this, we've definitely learned one very important lesson:
Where goes the Mamba, so goes the money.