October, 26, 2011
By Kevin Arnovitz
- On the B.S. Report with Bill Simmons, union president Billy Hunter insisted there were only "six or seven" NBA veterans who were pulling in bloated salaries in the $6-10 million range without contributing all that much on the floor. On Tuesday, Zach Lowe of the Point Forward pored over salary data and found no fewer than 34 veterans who could be fairly characterized as overpaid. Andrew Lynch of Hardwood Paroxysm went through the list of "Bad Mid-Tier Contracts," and discovered that the five teams who carried three or more of these contracts averaged a woeful 33.2 wins. Meanwhile, the eight conference semifinalists had only four such contracts combined (two of four belonging to Atlanta).
- Tom Ziller of SB Nation offers a smart rebuttal to my case against revenue sharing: "Without more robust revenue sharing, a new revenue split will only serve to shift the conditions a little: teams like the Spurs will make a couple million in profit or break even, the Knicks will make even more money. It's still not fair or productive. It still doesn't incent the pursuit of excellence for small markets." At some point, we'll need to look at the very sensitive issue of what constitutes a viable market in a sports world driven by broadcast revenue and television households. This is a relatively new model because, for decades, the gate was king. I'm still intrigued by the Costas plan, whereby the visiting team would earn its fair share of local television revenue, because it's a proposal guided by principle. I still have hope that, in the coming decades, robust revenue from international broadcasts could level the playing field across the league. Yet right now, it's nearly impossible not to lose money in a number of NBA markets. Nobody wants to see loyal fans in any market lose a product they love. The atmosphere in Salt Lake City and Sacramento is intoxicating and every chance I get to travel to these arenas is a treat. But let's acknowledge you'll have a hard time finding any other commercial sector where huge operating losses are subsidized every year because the idea of a business leaving a market makes people sad or queazy. This returns us to the age-old question: Are sports teams entertainment products or public trusts?
- In the not-so-distant future, it's very likely some of your favorite NBA players will be pitching products in their Twitter feeds.
- Zach Lowe explores whether less restrictive trade parameters would give an edge to wealthier teams.
- The best Milwaukee Buck of the past 20 years? That's easy -- Ray Allen. Josh Hilgendorf of Bucksketball writes that, as good as Allen was, the trade that sent him to Seattle didn't turn out all that bad for the Bucks.
- Derrick Rose, easily among the league's most underpaid players, on the salary cap: "I wish it was back like where it was in the old days where there wasn't a cap ... Back in the day, they were giving guys coming out of college multimillion-dollar contracts, so why stop it now? The game is growing. There's no need to stop it."
- Could Jamal Crawford be a hot free agent target when the NBA gets back to work? Crawford might be a chucker, but has generally been exceptionally well-liked among his contemporaries.
- Morris Almond with some recommendations for your listening pleasure: "Did i mention that the Film Score radio station on Pandora is a goldmine?"
- Social networking tools plotted along two dimensions.
- Mike Fratello is back in the winemaking game.