The NBA lockout rolls on, but no one has said anything truly insane in a while. Whatcha got, anonymous source close to the owners quoted by NBA.com's yeoman David Aldridge?
The source said owners frequently speak of "being tired of making these guys rich" [...]
Oh, this is promising.
[...] and are even contemplating asking for more, such as including income the players receive from their commercial endorsements and sponsorship money into the BRI pot -- the theory being the players wouldn't become famous and able to make such deals if not for the NBA infrastructure that puts them on television and other media.
Listen, I'm not going say that whichever owners actually think that they make players rich and are contemplating asking that Nike dollars players earn get shoved into the pot are stupid. They are not stupid. They are just completely deluded to the point of having lost touch with reality.
Herb Simon, Leslie Alexander, James Dolan, Rich DeVos ... even Jerry Buss and Mark Cuban: y'all have nothing to do with making these players rich. You are utterly and completely replaceable. If anyone one of you 29 owners left the NBA, selling your team to new money like Alex Meruelo or Joe Lacob or Tom Gores or Mikhail Prokhorov, no one would miss a beat. If Cuban sold off, maybe the Dallas Mavericks would suck again. But the NBA wouldn't be affected one iota. If Buss sold a majority stake to AEG, the NBA's trajectory would not change a bit. If Glen Taylor or Dan Gilbert sold their teams, would anyone even care except to cheer and bellow a "good riddance"?
Owners are completely replaceable, as we've seen as seven new owners have entered the NBA over the past two years (with Meruelo and Joshua Harris, the next 76ers owner, still not official). You think LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose are replaceable? You think that if Kobe went to play ball in China and never returned to the NBA again the league wouldn't be worse for the wear?
More than any sports league in the world, this is a league of stars. They are making [some of the] owners rich. Owners have the privilege of employing these stars. (Look at how many of these powerful owners groveled at the feet of LeBron last summer.) The funding mechanism that distributes the league's impressive revenues is wonky and needs work, sure. But to suggest that the owners are the reason the league pulls $4 billion a year is so laughable I'm actually struggling to believe it's not a joke.
Quotes like this make me wish Mike Tillery's dream would come true.