Good for Hump but the money is staying crazy
We will never begrudge athletes for getting paid, if they can command big salaries all the more power to them.
But sometimes you just have to shake your head a little bit and wonder where things are headed.
Kris Humphries, a pretty good NBA player who had a couple of solid years on gawdawful New Jersey Nets teams – no playoffs, no contention, no fans, nothing really special – is going to earn $12 million in each of the next two years after getting free agency contract done yesterday.
I like Hump quite a bit, as you may recall, but, come on!
That’s about a $4 million-a-year raise on the one-year deal he got last fall; somewhere close to a 50 per cent increase in salary. Crazy.
So, no, I don’t think anyone can complain about the Landry Fields salary or the third year of Jeremy Lin’s contract or anything else being signed these days.
Obviously, the price of average has gone through the roof.
Good for players, shame on the owners.
We spent most of last fall without basketball because the nitwit owners shut the game down over financial matters, they wanted to be saved from themselves, it seems, fully on the backs of the employees who were doing nothing other than going out and finding out what the market would pay.
And if the market’s going to pay Hump $12 million a year or Roy Hibbert about $14 million a year or Nic Batum almost $12 million a year or pick one of the other “ridiculous” contracts out of the air then why in the world did the game get shut down a year ago?
This is about owners and GMs doing exactly what they said they wouldn’t do, spending like drunken sailors (my apologies to drunken sailors, it’s the only old-time cliché I could come up with) and rewarding people who’ve really done nothing in their careers with contracts bearing no semblance of sense.
And when this CBA is up, or the first time you hear some owner crying poor or a GM lamenting the cost of player, remember these last couple of weeks and know where the blame should be placed.
These are my people.
An e-mail arrives and it’s simply titled “commit to memory.”
I can’t really recall which of the various tip sheet things I use – twitter, the newspapers, the radio, what have you – pointed this out to me but today is the anniversary of Billie Holiday’s death and, no, they don’t make singers like they used to, do they?
Well, we’ve got at least on television network in this country that can find scheduling time for some basketball these days.
And by basketball, I don’t mean Summer League and the house organ that’s NBA TV.
The Score is going to broadcast the final three exhibition games for the USA Olympic team – Thursday at 2 p.m. against Great Britain, Sunday at 3:30 p.m. against Argentina and the biggie, Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. against Spain.
We’ll do more on the Olympic tournament next week when we get settled over in London but I’m really wondering if the Americans are big enough to win the gold.
Talented? No question. But so are Spain, Russia, Argentina, France, Brazil. Maybe not as talented one through 12 but there are only five guys on the court at a time and depth in a one-game quarter-final or semifinal won’t matter all that much; in 40-minute games, starters can go a long, long time.
Anyway, haven’t looked all that closely at the other rosters and haven’t even seen the Americans or Spaniards play yet so we’ll have to wait a bit before there’s any wild prognostications.
Couple of more full-page features on Olympians to go before I can go into some kind of semi-shutdown mode to get organized for a 3 1-2 week trip. And that means if I want to cool it a bit this weekend, I’m going to have to get started on the mail.
Help a fella out, would you?
I’ll tell you this, not sure exactly how Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields are going to play, but they do give a good press conference.
Not that it matters but they were kind of engaging, entertaining, honest and genuinely happy to be here when we got to chat with them yesterday.
Now, let’s see what they do in the thing that really matters: Playing.
Bryan did hit on an interesting point when he was going over his summer and the team that’s here now when he said the biggest thing is that there’s going to be genuine competition at pretty much every position.
“There’s things happening with this roster and competition in practice leads to performance in games.”
You’ve got Calderon-Lowry, DeRozan-Ross, Fields-Kleiza, Bargnani-Davis and Valanciunas-Johnson-Gray and at least that means there should be some good sessions in the gym.
We were having a private chat about their potential and what they would bring and while no one expects Acy to jump and grab significant minutes as a rookie, the guy I was talking to made one very valid point:
“He never quits; he’s going to kick Ed’s ass every day in practice. And Ed better be ready.”
That’s not a huge knock on Ed Davis by any stretch, it was simply a statement of fact. If a young, hungry, physical guy fighting for his professional life can make things miserable for someone in the practice gym, there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
And seeing how they’re going to have about 10 times more practice sessions this season than they did a year ago, it’ll be interesting to see how everyone handles it.