Basketball is one the biggest sports in the world. Thanks to Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, the sport got the "shot in the arm" it needed to bring the casual fan back to arenas across the league. But once the man affectionately known as "His Airness" entered, people everywhere had to see what the fuss was all about as it pertained to the sport.
As I see it, there are not a lot of NBA owners who truly know how good a player is coming out of college, or if he's not featured on the SportsCenter Top Ten, probably have no clue how well that player has played his first three years in the league. But when he finally lives up to a certain amount of hype in that contract year, everyone gets excited and the owner feels compelled to give the player whatever he wants. Technically, this is the job of the general manager.
But to me, if I owned ANYTHING, I think that it would be in my best interest to know as much as possible about it before investing millions of dollars. NBA owners are very intelligent. Before purchasing their teams, they have made their fortunes in "corporate America" by being hands on, smart, and by trusting their gut.
The way the NBA salary cap is set up, once a player is signed to a deal, if traded he must be dealt for equal monetary value. So, even though the guy you have is making $20 million a year and the guy you want only makes $11 million, other guys must be included in the deal to get you in the neighborhood of the $20 million dollars.
That leads me to the whole point of this article of asking; is it worth it to pay a guy big money simply because he wants it or the market calls for it, if he truly is not worth it?
Why straddle yourself with a bad contract that you can't get rid of in the future? Or if you do rid yourself of it, you'd have to take back players you don't want. More importantly, you tie up a significant amount of your salary cap to one guy and now you are unable to properly build your team. It's not my money, but for some reason I feel it is my right as an American to tell all NBA owners that it is okay to say no to the money that these free agents ask for. Sometimes, the general managers can't help themselves. So it is up to you as an owner to say "no".
deals signed this summer alone.
All management has to do is say no.
I'm all for individuals making as much as possible and I would in no way ever want it to seem as though I'm hating. But just because you CAN get something doesn't exactly mean you deserve it. The NBA has a lot of stars, but very few superstars. That's where things get murky. Superstars can carry a team to the title. While stars can get you to the playoffs. The superstars deserve as much as possible while the stars need to understand that they will get more than enough. If they don't owners and general managers need to learn that to protect the long term well being of their franchise all they need to do is tell players and agents no!