When you think about the professional leagues of America and abroad and salaries brought forth by their services, your mind is automatically taken into the players’ pockets.
In reference to the NBA, fans constantly find themselves comparing players’ salaries and their worth to their teams and their league. Sometimes we find the comparison to be a bit off balance, however, we never considered how much the man with the plan, David Stern is making while league business is active.
In light of Roger Goodell’s willingness to cut his salary to a $1 during the NFL lockout, basketball players took to Twitter to question why Stern’s salary had not been proposed for a cutback.
Of course Goodell’s ploy of dropping his salary was not only a way to show good spirits in the negotiation room, but to get the public on his side. Stern does not need to publicly come out and say that he will drop his salary to $1 because he already declared during the NBA All-Star weekend that even collecting on that would be too much.
Responding to a question at the time about whether he would drop his salary to $1 as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did during the NFL’s lockout, Stern said: “Well, I would say that last time (during the NBA’s 1998-99 lockout) I didn’t take a salary. I think a dollar would be too high in the event of a work stoppage.”
Now sources, as reported by ESPN, are coming forth to speak about Stern living up to his word by not collecting on his salary estimated between $15 million – $16 million. This shows a huge amount of good judgment on his behalf. Still collecting on a salary, while the players are scratching and clawing in negotiations to get a fair deal in their eyes, would make Stern the villain just as Goodell was to players and fans during the short-lived NFL lockout.
Now, we should all expect some type of active response from the union. Whether it is players promising to give up something in good faith or point out why Stern’s declaration means little to nothing, they will give some type of response while they continue to dwindle in the eyes of fans as far as compassion is concerned.
One major piece of the league that I have a problem with is that players like Cleveland Cavaliers’ Baron Davis made around $14 million last season. His role on either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Cavaliers failed to excel expectations and most definitely did not warrant a payday over $5 million. This is something that must change if the league or its players look forward to longevity.
No one wants to look back at what used to be and wish that changes would have been made. The problem must be addressed before financial issues begin to cloud everyone’s primary perception of the game.
It is played with passion, determination and high spirits. Injecting these types of struggles into the hardwood just takes away from the love of it.