“NBA–Nothing But Arrogance”
Adam Silver has a problem, he, the NBA Commissioner.
A lot of owners, spread across the US map, should have a problem.
The NBA Union might be facing a problem.
The Players, the superstars, don’t seem to care about the problem.
The league, after a tense, confrontational, nasty meeting of the Board of Governors, needs to retake control of the league.
Take it back from the players and from the agents.
At issue is the reality that the players are running the league, not the commissioner, not the owners, not the most esteemed basketball people, the GMs, in the league.
The Toronto Raptors, aghast at the demands made by Kawhi Leonard’s agent, his uncle, have turned over evidence to the league office, that Dennis Robertson made contract demands that involved guaranteed marketing money, use of private jets, hotels, houses and vacation trips, in addition to the 32M-per year Leonard would get in a ‘max contract’. An outright violation of the NBA salary cap.
Other NBA teams, who had dialogue with Leonard, have alleged the same.
The Lakers are upset that Leonard waited a full week after a sales pitch, to allow some of his other friends to sign contracts elsewhere, meaning the Lakers wouldn’t get Leonard, and would lose out on other free agents they could have signed.
Other issues involve players going public they had decided on joining teams even before the free agent window actually opened for negotiations..
Kevin Durant notified everyone he was going to the Brooklyn Nets and Kemba Walker did the same, leaving Charlotte for Boston, before opening hours of free agency took place. That meant deals were in place before bidding was supposed to start.
Complicating all this are the friendships players have with each other, players who talked to each other about forming ‘Dream Teams’ by trying to pull off power plays to engineer deals.
Was Leonard tampering with Paul George in Oklahoma City, to try and force a trade to join him with the Clippers, even though George was just year one into a multi9-year deal with the Thunder. It wound up being ‘7-for-1’ trade the Clippers made.
And Durant contacting Kyrie Irving about joining him in Brooklyn in a mega deal, eventhough Irving was still under contract to Boson.
At last count, the NBA is looking at 6-clubs and their contacts with agents representing the marquee free agents.
This has been brewing for awhile. Only twice in the David Stern era, were players or teams disciplined in the past. A huge fine and the voiding of a Minnesota Timberwolves contract with Joe Smith, a decade ago for illegal guarantees. it cost the T-Wolves millions and draft picks.. And sanctions against Miami’s signing of Juwan Howard, years back too.
In the past year, the NBA handed fines to the Lakers and Dallas for comments about impending free agency, but little else happened. Now something must happen.
Owners argued the league has to do something to control this oil fire, where the rules don’t mean anything to the top teams in the league, and surely don’t mean anything for the star players, who only care about their next big payday.
This all started with the LeBron James ‘Dream Team’ concept in Miami, you know, ‘taking my talents to South Beach’.
Yes it may be fun to watch what the Heat did to stockpile super talent, or what Golden State did.
You wonder if the 25-other teams in the league, will rise up and revolt against what has been allowed to happen.
Baseball and the NFL have been harsh to deal with people who violate the salary cap, tamper with other team’s players, or do under the table deals.
The NBA has been loathe to deal with what has been out there. Now they really have a problem.
It’s about right and wrong, and different rules for different folks. It’s about the lack of competitive balance.
Players run the league. Everyone is making 30M a year max contracts. No one cares about the rules.
The NBA, the street game, has allowed its players and agents to take the game into the gutter. .
The NBA stands for Nothing But Arrogance, and they have a huge crisis infront of them.