Pro Athletes Salaries Rant

I just read an article about pro athletes salaries, ranking the top 50 paid athletes in America. If you are interested they also list the top 20 international athletes. 44% of the athletes listed play in the NBA, thats right, 22 of the top 50 paid athletes in America play pro hoops and a vast amount of them stink and/or don’t warrant their salary.

I understand all of the economics of sports and I am glad that they have implemented alleged salary caps within the NBA and a hard cap in the NFL. This has curbed ridiculous contracts a little. But when I read that Jalen Rose is the 29th highest paid player in America and the oft-injured Grant Hill is 33 on the list I want to vomit. I understand that they signed these long term deals years ago and the teams have suffered because of it and now they have the Alan Houston exception-which was the worst contract in sports history, at least before the new Roger Clemens contract. But, there needs to be some type of recourse for players who don’t live up to their contracts. There needs to be series’ of one year contracts. Athletes can’t handicap their teams for seven or more years making disgusting money and they stink.

There are two main problems with the NBA. First, they are in the business of giving away money and the GM’s job is now to trade bad contracts to free up cap room to take one shot at signing another overpaid over the hill free agent. If this particular free agent fails to deliver then that team will be screwed for years to come. In the case of Grant Hill, if he gets injured then they are really screwed because you can’t even trade those contracts. I also understand that teams have insurance on these contracts if guys get hurt but that doesn’t change the fact that the regular fan can’t possibly relate to these guys salaries. I mean, how many times have you had a discussion about sports and said, “well that guy only makes 5 or 8 million per year”. We’ve all said stuff like that…stop for a second and think how much money that really is. Most people won’t make that much in their lives. In the NBA its basically the average salary that any stiff on a mid level exception will receive. In baseball you can’t even get a below .500 4th or 5th starter for 5 mill a year…that is nauseating.

The second problem with the NBA (it’s not only the NBA but they are generally more pronounced) is that most guys just don’t seem to care. I understand that many guys do and I love to watch a real competitor in action but many guys just collect checks and don’t really give a damn. It is the same in baseball I am aware and the Yankees are the biggest example of the massive overspending spree that sports has become but watching some of these guys lumber up and down the court when they make 10 mill a year is infuriating.

I was a huge NBA fan in the 80s and 90s and now I can’t even watch. I live in New York and I turn down free Knicks tickets. The Knicks are the most glaring example of this crap in the NBA, they are the worst organization in sports, period. Their management and owner all the way down to their players are just a disgrace. It is a circus and they just can’t get it right. I am not trying to rant about the Knicks but the only team I can respect in the NBA is San Antonio. They aren’t flashy but they play the game the right way and always hustle and really want to win, which is why they do. Other teams do sometimes but the Spurs always do and they never get in trouble off the court. They are gritty and crafty, the way to old Pistons teams were with the skill and efficiency of the older Boston teams with a clean cut superstar surrounded by perfect role players.

The bottom line is in my rant that these salaries need to be curbed or else the divide between a lot of these guys making millions will increase versus the regular guy and in truth the people paying these guys salaries. I haven’t paid for an NBA game in 5 years and will not ever again. The top 50 list in American sports should be filled with the best players and the brightest stars. Not a bunch of over the hill, overpaid chumps. Obviously some guys deserve to make the big bucks and should be on this list but there needs to be some recourse to the player for not playing well. If regular people don’t perform at their job, they get fired, the same should be true of our athletes.

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  1. I hate the NBA

  2. I concur…and btw, what happened to Magic Johnson having HIV? can you buy yourself out of a deadly disease?

  3. Good question…that is a mystery

  4. Tommy Morrison cured himself, so yea, it is possible.

  5. good point Baumer

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