The NBA has increased my level of self-hatred exponentially. Why, mom and dad, could I have not grown to be a cement-footed, plodding big man gumming up offenses around the world? Why couldn’t I have been blessed with the “elite” eleven points per game skills of Kent Bazemore? The moderate talent exhibited by Nicolas Batum? Shit, at this point I’d take the deal the backup point guard of the worst team ever just got (Ish Smith, three years, $18 million to go from Philly to Detroit).
What in the fuck is going on here? The Lakers, in the midst of what has to be a prolonged trolling of their Paris Hilton-level spoiled fan base, just invested $65 million in Timofey Mozgov. You might be asking yourself: who is Timofey Mozgov? Well, he’s now making more millions (65) in LA than the total minutes he played this post-season in Cleveland.
Let’s put this in the proper perspective: Adrian Peterson, perhaps the greatest running back in NFL history (save the bitching, he’s at least top five (Editor’s note: He’s not top five all-time)) will likely make less than half than NBA “star” Kent Bazemore this upcoming season. Bazemore, who was released by the aforementioned Lakers after their hapless 2014 debacle known as “oh fuck, Kobe isn’t retiring,” averaged eleven points and four rebounds per game in Atlanta this season, sporting a real plus/minus slightly below the league average.
A below average NBA player that even the Lakers didn’t want is making more money than Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Richard Sherman, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, OBJ, Julio Jones, AJ Green, and the list goes on and on.
Now, I do realize there are 53 players on an NFL roster, and just 12 on an NBA team. I get that. But while I am a devout capitalist, I feel this immense overpayment for sustained mediocrity, while a TFM, is going to erode American sports. If you’re a kid in today’s athletic society, in which by high school you are likely forced to choose a sport, are you really going to take the life-altering abuse of football for the prayer of non-guaranteed contracts, miniscule in comparison to those of the NBA?
I doubt it. With the “attack on football,” as Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh described it, with the concussion reports seemingly prepared daily and the immense financial discrepancy, what really is the motivation to play?
Soon, if not already, a kid looking to better his life and help his family while possessing elite athletic ability will realize the harsh reality of today’s NFL: if I make it, I’ll play 3 years on average, work on yearly non-guaranteed contracts, will likely be forever forgotten if seriously injured, have no comparable fallback league in the event I am cut, and risk lifelong injury. Wow, sounds fucking great to me.
The NBA, on the other hand, is about to pay Jeremy Lin $20 million a year. Jeremy Lin would be one of the 5 highest-paid players in the NFL at his salary. He makes four times as much in base compensation than Gronk. Think about that. At the same time, the NBA guarantees essentially all contracts (outside of second round pick rookies and later years of veteran deals), there is a litany of high-paying leagues overseas, and when was the last time you heard about a former NBA player killing himself due to CTE?
It is time for NFL owners to think more about the future than the now. Yes, the immense profits are great, but the product is the key to sustainability. Guarantee contracts, up the player share of revenue, and raise the salary cap to at least $165 million a year. The NFL made an estimated $12 Billion last season; currently the total contracts of every player in the league total less than $3 billion. With revenues skyrocketing (more than doubling since 2010), so should the cap.
Let’s keep football, the true “America’s game,” great..
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