I think my head is going to explode.
Wednesday was the first official day NBA teams could sign free agents and to say the Benjamins were flying out of the owners' wallets is an understatement of epic proportions.
Within 24 hours, NBA teams lavished a combined id="mce_marker".4 billion on a passel of free agents, most of whom whose names are foreign to the average sports fan. That's right, I didn't stutter,id="mce_marker".4 BILLION, which could be used to feed a small country of starving children.
Quick, name the team that is going pay $90 million to Goran Dragic over the next five years. Better yet, how many know who Goran Dragic even is?
Then there’s that household name Khris Middleton, who is going to steal $70 million over the next five years from the Milwaukee Bucks. The last time the Bucks were relevant in the NBA, they were led by young Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). After he left for the Lakers to help build a dynasty, the Bucks plunged into the Witness Protection Program.
Then there’s that standout center Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets, who is being paid $60 million over the next three years only because 7-foot centers are going the way of the dinosaur.
NBA owners apparently are mad at their money, because id="mce_marker"5 million a year is going to seem like chump change at the rate things are going. We haven’t even seen what the face of the NBA, LeBron James, is going to get from the Cleveland Cavaliers, as he opted out of his contract after one year, though he’s reportedly assured the team he’ll be re-signing. That didn’t stop the Cavaliers from giving oft-injured power forward Kevin Love id="mce_marker"10 million over the next five years.
Former NBA All-Star guard Reggie Miller posted this on Twitter: “I LUV that the players are bank rolling, capitalize and seize the moment. Trust me owners and the league are making money, so should you.”
Just being able to do an average job in the NBA allows a player to make more in a month than many of us do over the course of 10 years. It’s pure madness. Maybe the NBA got tired of watching baseball give bloated contracts and it wants to catch up. And you can bet the NFL players are watching all of this and rubbing their hands in anticipation. They are the ones whose careers end early because the game is so violent. It's just a matter of time before the players are going to the owners and telling them to catch up because they're making "poverty" wages.
My biggest problem with the NBA's outrageous salaries is that I can’t recall the quality of the game being at such a low point. Gone are the days of Michael, Magic and Bird, the players who saved the game from oblivion. Because of free agency, we don’t have teams anymore like the Lakers, Celtics and Bulls. I guess you could call San Antonio a dynasty, but it doesn’t have the players that fans relate to like the before-mentioned trio. It takes a hardened NBA fan to name the starting lineup of the Spurs, or even those of the two finalists, Golden State and Cleveland. Both of those teams had one superstar, then a supporting cast. When the Lakers, Celtics and Bulls were in their heyday, their rosters were littered with future Hall of Famers.
I guess in the outside, murderous world that we live in, we need for our sports teams to take us away from all the terrorism, racism and any other “ism” there is. Those who own teams apparently are willing to pace the price, no matter how high it is.