I am sitting here reading the updates on the NBA labor negotiations and shaking my head. I'll get to Wade and his wanting respect and lack of showing it in a couple of minutes. But first, I want to discuss the very thing that the players said that the owners needed to do in order to bring this ordeal to a quick end, revenue sharing.
Friday, the owners brought out a revenue sharing plan and presented it to the players. And holy guacamole, the revenue sharing got nuts. For the first year of the deal, an additional $180 Million will be paid into the revenue sharing pot with the Lakers paying roughly $50 Million and the Knicks around $30 Million. The 2nd year brings in an additional $60 Million for $240 Million for revenue sharing. And the revenue sharing cannot decrease below $240 Million for the life of the deal. Ok, so now what? You might have teams breaking even or losing less money than they have before. You still have the power franchises like Boston and Los Angeles. You still have the underdogs like Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. And you still have the franchises that struggle like Sacramento and New Jersey. Revenue sharing doesn't do much for the imbalance there. So here are a couple of questions that the NBAPA would need to answer for me to believe that they really care about the NBA.
1) What would be your solution to making the NBA viable for all 30 teams to make a profit using GAPP without revenue sharing?
2) What should be the cutoff for a player's salary? After all, we all know that the guys sitting at the end of the bench make about 1/20th of what the superstars make. Is that a good balance for all the players in the union?
3) Where can the teams get relief if a player's skills deteriorate and they aren't worth the money that they get in a guaranteed contract after a year? And why do players have the supposed right to hold out for more money but the teams don't have the right to cut them and not pay the contract that has been signed? It seems wrong that in a "partnership" that one party has the right to force the other to open renegotiations because they believe the should be getting paid more while the other party has no recourse if they believe that the players is underperforming his contract.
4) The final question. Why are Wade, LeBron, Carmelo, and other stars in the negotiating room? James Jones is the player rep for the Heat. So why are 2 of the Big 3 playing diva in the negotiating room? Carmelo isn't the Player Rep from the Knicks. So on and so forth. Let the representatives for these players be in the negotiating room and leave the prima donnas playing in summer leagues and vowing to improve their game so they won't collapse during the finals next year.
5) Oops. Thought of one more question that has nothing to do with money, but discipline. How do you get the the league to have enough power to eliminate some of the perceived criminal element out of the game or at least the rowdiest players under control?
Now for Dwayne Wade and his temper tantrum. Maybe, David Stern pointed his finger at Wade and then Wade yelled at him, "You're not pointing your finger at me. I'm not your child." Now I'm glad that is a correct statement for two reasons. #1. David Stern would have some 'splaining to do to his wife. #2. I would be disappointed in Stern for not giving his kids some manners. And after that the player's cabal stomped out of the room and threatened to leave. And yet again, David Stern swallowed his pride and allowed himself to be made the bad guy in order to keep the impetuous children from throwing an even bigger temper tantrum. So the players came back into the meeting and did not negotiate much of anything. And now Wade is being proclaimed as the hero of the players and all the little people in the world. So much BS.
All the Dwayne Wade did was show yet again what a selfish prima donna that he is and has been since he arrived in the NBA. As I have blogged before, you have to question his leadership because his teams quit on his ass, usually with about 6 minutes left in the 4th Quarter. He makes fun of opposing players. He whines and cries about any call that he feels that he doesn't get. And he also throws his teammates under the bus for failure. Well, as the leader of the Miami Heat, shouldn't he decide to take the blame for his teammates when he is out of the public eye?
As for his contributions in these negotiations, he hasn't been there following each and every proposal traded between the sides. He isn't one of the player reps. So who in hell does he think he is? I understand that he is called a Superhero in his basketball exploits, but this isn't playing a game. This is the business world and to think that if one of his employees would yell at him and to say that he wouldn't fire them because of insubordination might be correct, but it might not be. It is a matter of respect.
David Stern has treated the players with respect on more occasions that I can count. but yet, the players have no respect for him because he has let them do what they want for the most part. Dwayne Wade is one of the leaders of the players that haven't shown David Stern the respect he should get just for his position alone. He and his shrewdness has allowed the NBA to grow revenues and allowed the players to get paid. He has also done a wonderful job of finding owners to buy teams. After all, over 1 team on average in a year gets a new owner. Tell me how many more people are willing to invest in businesses that have a better chance to lose money than not. Ask the players if they are willing to invest in an NBA team that has a history of losing money and then also ask them, since they are management to increase their payrolls to above the Salary Cap. They would look at you funny.
If Dwayne Wade wants to be treated with respect, he had better learn to give it. He won't because Pat Riley and the Heat management let him do whatever he wants and kiss his ass. Instead they should have guidelines for him and punish him when he breaks those guidelines. And Wade should damn well sure show respect to the man that has made the engine and the structure that allowed him to make his millions upon millions of dollars. Instead, Wade shows that he is nothing but a punk, yet again.