There are many very talented young talented multi-sport athletes who are currently trying to decide which sport to go on and pursue at the college or professional level. For instance, a high school kid might be a standout football, basketball and baseball player. He has the potential to play professional at any of the three. After seeing what has happened in the last few weeks with NBA contracts, how could you not blame the kid for wanting to pursue an NBA career? Even marginal players are now making roughly 10 million a year. A player who warmed the bench for a playoff team just recently signed a 4 year contract for roughly 16 million a year. What other sports even come close to paying marginal players that kind of dough?
The NBA is growing rapidly in popularity not only here in the United States, but around the world. The recent record television deal with the league reflects the growing popularity of the league. Now teams have approximately 25 million more dollars per year to spend on coveted free agents. It seemed like just yesterday that a salary of a million a year was the norm. Now that figure will probably rise to around 8 or 9 million. The payroll ceiling for each team is now around 97 million and teams must have a total payroll of at least 90 percent of the 97 million. It does not take much of a math major to figure that even the low-end players will get a healthy chunk of change.
You really have to wonder how this record deal and the outrageous salaries will affect other sports. I know the NFL has to be looking at this with a great deal of interest given their immense popularity. How will this affect their next television contract negotiations? Is this a new trend for sports? Will we be now seeing some backup quarterback in the NFL make 10 million a year or some MLB guy make 15 million a year for hitting just .197?
One of the things that really troubles me about this whole salary bonanza in the NBA is the fact that many players are being paid far more than their worth to the league. To me, that is just not right. Why should a backup player make more than one of the top stars in the league? Steph Curry might be one of the top 5 most marketable players in the NBA and he is vastly underpaid compared to a guy like Timofey Mozgov. Is that fair? Absolutely not! I also wonder what kind of effect this will have on teams keeping key players who might just want to search for greener pastures. Will this have a negative impact on teams trying to hold onto players? It could very well have. If I were a top-notch NBA player, I would feel insulted if a number of players, who are not even close to my worth to the league, got paid more than I did.
These record salaries just shows that television really controls sports. I can’t really complain about some backup center making 15 million a year. I turn on the television and watch the games thus contributing to the madness. If only I was a little younger! Maybe some team can pay this old white guy 5 million a year to sit on the end of the bench. Hey, I can still hit the jump shot! The NBA is definitely now a dream league for any young aspiring athlete.