Here is a quote I read that I found interesting:
“In college, they play for the name on the front but at the pro-level, they play for the name on the back.” This means that the athlete has lost the true love of the game.-- True or False????
I live in a household where sports have been a major factor for over 25 years. We talk all the time about the rising salaries. People complain all the time about how much a top notch professional athlete gets paid. I want to use this article to share my two cents on the subject, and possibly shed some light on those naysayers out there.
First of all, understand that in the marketplace the consumer is the ultimate boss. For example Stub Hub listed the average price of a Game 4 World Series ticket was $2800.00 (yes, I said average only) and with Wrigley Field holding 41,268 fans, you do the math. In one three game stretch (only three games) out of 162 in the season, the ticket sales alone exceeded $300 million dollars. In 2007 Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees signed a deal for $25 Million. Those people who complained the loudest about it were probably some who watched him play, bought Yankees garb, and even attended games at the stadium.
It boils down to economics. Did you know that professional athletes pay a tax called a "jock tax"? They are taxed not only by the state they live in, but let me tell you this: They pay taxes in every state they play. All states have tax laws regarding the jock tax. The professional athlete not only loses taxes from the state they live in, but states everywhere they play, then they pay city taxes, not to mention large union dues. All states have taxes for non-residents who earn income in their state. IT appears that athletes and entertainers get chased down for the taxes too. I know, they can't pay the tax if they don't make the money, but what is their worth? When an athlete turns pro, the best friend they need is a CPA. Just ask them, taxes are daunting.
Let's look at this contract:
Why does this seem like a crazy contract? Because a lot of people can't get over the idea of Mike Conley, a zero-time All-Star, getting the richest contract in NBA history. In the final three years of the contract, he'll be making over $30 million per season and will top out at $34 million in the fifth season. He's made one All-NBA Defensive Team (Second) in 2013. The most Michael Jordan made in one season is $33 million back in 1998 when the salary cap was $26.9 million. So how does Conley, who averages 13.6 points over his nine-year career, end up with the biggest salary in NBA history? How will he make 2.5 times what unanimous MVP Stephen Curry will make next season?
How is this actually a sane deal?
This is how the market works in a world with a salary cap and max contracts. Conley's max is a percentage of the cap based on his experience in the NBA and includes certain raises negotiated into the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Conley is a top 8-10 point guard in the NBA, an important position in today's league. Put any of these top point guards on the free agent market this summer and they'd get the five-year max offer from their incumbent teams. Conley is one of the best defensive point guards around. He put up 15 points and six assists, despite battling injuries this season, to go along with that defense. If you don't offer up the five-year max to these players, you risk losing them.
Memphis didn't want to lose Conley. That's how he got paid. It's not crazy. It just sounds funny because of the timing. You'll notice almost all of the biggest contracts in NBA history have happened this year.
The NBA players defend their earnings. They say it is supply and demand. Did you know that $720 million dollars will filter into NBA in additional monies to be split over 30 teams? The players get 51% of that while the owners get the additional 49%. Is it fair? Someone is paying to have the stadiums built, and the places to be sold out...
Let's also not forget what an athlete faces as well, such as extensive practice, routine, travel, risk of injury, and being scrutinized by the media. The number one issue that I believe to be a minus for them is their loss of privacy. Their entire lives open up to everyone. Some say they ask for it. Do they really? They have a talent, that talent allows them to play a game for a living, but does this mean their entire lives should be relevant to every household in America, or any other Country for that matter? And let's not forget that most of them spend countless hours and dollars giving back to the communities they serve for example:
Suh has been named the dirtiest player in the NFL multiple times, but that hasn’t stopped him from being one of the most charitable players in league history. In 2011, he donated a whopping $2.6 million to his alma mater, the University of Nebraska, and followed that up with a $250,000 donation to his former high school in 2013. The Detroit Lions defensive tackle also started the Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation, and has continued to donate millions of dollars throughout his five-year NFL career. and how about:
Eli Manning and his wife, Abby, were instrumental in raising $2.5 million for the the Eli Manning Children’s Clinics at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children, and also donated an additional $1 million to their alma mater, Ole Miss. Manning has also been an avid supporter of the March of Dimes, Red Cross, St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters, and the Phoenix House.
So to finalize this article, please understand that being a professional athlete has many sides to the story. Do they get PAID? Yes they do. Do the fans ultimately pay the price, yes they do. Realize it is about supply and demand, just like the price of gas and oil! Players do good works most of the time and large portions of that money come back into the communities they serve.
So the question becomes, whose side are you on, and who are you rooting for today?