Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The insane NBA merry-go-round

Well, let's see. Dwayne Wade pulled a Lebron and went home. (He's from Chicago and played his college ball at nearby Marquette.)  He'll slide into the place vacated by Derrick Rose, who left Chitown to go to the Knicks.

Rose will team up with Carmelo Anthony in the Big Apple. It's doubtful Rose can stay healthy and Melo still can't play any defense. The Knicks aren't going anywhere. Nor are the Bulls. Decent, but the addition of Wade hardly makes them a title contender.

The Detroit Pistons gave center Andre Drummond a super-duper max contract. This for a guy who can't handle the ball, has no outside shot, and his free throw shooting is legendary -- as in pitiful. Motown wisdom rolls on.

Everybody knows Kevin Durant left OKC to team up with Draymond and the splash brothers on Golden State. OKC looks to be in big trouble. They let All-Star guard James Hardin dash off to Houston a couple years ago. Now Durant's gone. Fellow superstar Russell Westbrook's contract is up after next year. He'll probably be gone too. Pity the poor state of Oklahoma. The Thunder are their only major professional sports team, and it looks to be coming apart at the seams.

Lebron James is technically a free agent. Would he dare sign anywhere else but with Cleveland again? If so, that whole bit about leaving Miami to go home would ring quite hollow. With Lebron, the Cavs remain a serious threat to repeat as champions, Golden State notwithstanding. Without him, they can kiss it goodbye.

Quietly, as has always been his nature, San Antonio big man Tim Duncan is rumored to be strongly considering retirement. Hey, he's 40, and not near the player he used to be. Perhaps it's time. Thing is, Manu Ginobelli and Tony Parker are becoming "senior" citizens as well. They ain't what they used to be either. Kawhi Leonard is an extraordinary talent, but when the Big Three go bye-bye, the Spurs years of being a top flight team might very well end. Nothing lasts forever. The Los Angeles Lakers are Exhibit A.

All the while, the salaries have gone insane for star players. You're just not cool unless you're making over $20 million a year. Once upon a time, yours truly was all for the advent of free agency. After all, a worker should be able to shop his talents and hire on with whatever company he chooses. But this has gone WAY overboard and is out of control. A guy making 20M is knocking down north of $250,000 -- per game. For playing basketball. It's outrageous. And the contracts are guaranteed. If a guy gets hurt (see Derrick Rose above), even long term, he gets paid the same anyway. Shouldn't they have some sort of lesser sick-leave pay like manhy other employers? If a guy can't produce, why should he get the same salary?

Here's the scary part. With even more huge TV dollars set to roll in next year, the salary cap will go up quite a bit. Today's 20 million might well become 30 million next year -- or more. Ticket prices will go up -- again.

Round and round it goes, and where the insanity will stop nobody knows.

No comments:

Post a Comment