James Harden's Payday is Why Sports Salaries are Obscenely Out of Control
Where does the line get drawn?? Sure, we get it. Professional Athletes work their tails off 9 months a year and perform under the brightest of spotlights and are subject to criticism you and I will never receive.
But where does the pay scale go from "Generous" to obscene?
Well my friends, over the past week---we've seen it happen. Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry signed what was called a "Record Setting" NBA Supermax Contract just one week ago when his 5-year, $201 million dollar contract ($40 million a year) was announced.
Curry's "Record Deal" lasted all of one-week.
Saturday night, the Houston Rockets announced they signed star guard James Harden to a 4-year, $170 million contract extension that will kick in after his current contract expires in 2019. Harden's contract....it works out to just over $42 million a year.
Think about this for a minute. $42 million a year.
Is there anyone alive on the planet today who is truly worth that kind of money?? When does the amount of your paycheck become more than one person will ever need??
Granted, we're all for athletes cashing in and it's not all their fault for getting paid. When someone walks up to you and says "We'd like to pay you $40 million a year", what are you going to say? No??
The irony in this.....While playing professional basketball takes a toll physically over the years, the toll pales in comparison to say....the NFL, where players often retire with life altering physical damage. The highest paid NFL players make half this salary.
Now mind you, Professional Sports owners are just as if not more complicit in all of this. They are making money hand over fist, despite what they tell you. From TV and marketing/licensing deals and sweetheart stadium or arena deals---the billionaires in charge are far from going broke.
But understand the concept here: If you are good with a player getting paid $40 million a year and a Billionaire getting a city, state or county to foot the bill for a new arena or stadium---they you are just as complicit and have no room to complain.
Ultimately it is the sports fan who pays for this extravagant spending. Want to go see an NBA game?? You're likely going to fork over $30 or more per seat (in the upper deck). Add the concession prices where you are paying $5 for a soda that costs .25 cents and the $5 hot dog or $10 beer plus another $20 to park and before you know it you're looking at $100-plus a person to see a game.
That is a pretty damn big profit margin. Especially if you add it up over the 41-plus home game schedule. Add in a Multi-Billion dollar TV deal that you pay for with your cable bill and voila! suddenly the obscene amount of money players are making makes a little more sense.
The only question now is "When is it going to stop?" The answer is fairly soon....
A lot of the money floating around in professional sports is from TV deals. And those obscene amounts of money are looking like huge overspends by TV Networks. Those networks (ESPN and others) are hemorrhaging money as TV viewers ditch Cable by the thousands.
For those of you unaware, your Cable bill is largely composed of re-transmission fees. And the biggest fees are coming from the Sports Networks. Most of you still with Cable are paying nearly $10 a month for the ESPN Networks even if you don't watch them.
So buckle up cowboy...and Cowboy fan, yes, your favorite athlete is going to continue getting paid---that Genie is out of the Bag....but the difference between the "Haves and the Have nots" is only going to get bigger.
If you are an NBA Fan, you are going to get an endless airing of the "Super-Teams"...your Golden State's, Cleveland's (LeBron James and Company), Houston's (Harden and Chris Paul) of the world and a lot less Toronto's and Memphis. Sure, those teams will exist in the modern day NBA, but they won't have a trio of "Superstars" like the others and will be doomed to a lifetime of 44-38 seasons, a berth in the playoffs and a quick playoff exits.
If that's the NBA world you are okay with, good for you. If you want real competition---you may need to find another sport.....