NBA owners continue to cry poverty in a league that just saw a rise in basketball related income, meaning an increased salary cap, which in turn means increased salaries by default. They continue to talk contraction and player salary reduction, and seemingly pushing toward a lockout while being at the height of its popularity in the post-Jordan era. Owners currently spend $2.1 billion on player salaries and benefits, and want to reduce that by upwards of $800 million. Many people can agree that salaries may have gotten out of control given the current economic climate, and asking for pay cuts does not seem that unreasonable. Apparently all owners are either not on the same page or do not understand fiscal responsibility, see the Memphis Grizzlies.
Memphis is one of the teams eyed for contraction due to the fact that they are consistently in the red. Then last week the Grizzlies turned around and gave Mike Conley a five year $45 million dollar contract extension, paying him more than Jason Kidd, Devin Harris, Jameer Nelson, Mo Williams and Andre Miller. This after handing Rudy Gay $82 million dollars and tying up $130 million dollars in the future with OJ Mayo, Zach Randolph and others. The Atlanta Hawks, another team consistently in the red handed Al Horford, who would probably get the same on the open market, a five year, $60 million extension. This after handing Joe Johnson $120 million in the off season. It is understandable that teams want to keep their players, but if you can not afford them, and still pay them then whose fault is that?
Surely not the players, who they want to take money away from. If owners do not improve their spending, pay cuts won’t matter and the 2011-2012 NBA season won’t exist.
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Written by Anthony Raia