Why Hate the NBA? Follow the Money…

Forbes list of the Fortunate 50 is out.  This is the list of the 50 highest earning athletes in the USA.  It combines salary, winnings, and endorsement deals.  What’s fascinating is that it reveals exactly what is wrong with the NBA, and why people need to ease up on football players.

NFL players put their bodies on the line, but earn comparatively little when juxtaposed with stars from other sports.  The list is dominated by NBA stars, many of whom are not very good.  The top ten reads:
Woods
Mickleson
LeBron James
ARod
Shaq
Garnett
Bryant
Allen Iverson
Jeter
Peyton Manning

The fact that Shaq and AI are among the 10 highest earning athletes in the USA is appalling.  People joke about Manning’s endorsement deals, but Shaq actually earns more in advertising $.  Manning does very well for an NFL star, as the next ten spots are owned by SEVEN more NBA players including Jason Kidd, Stephon Marbury and Jermaine O’Neal.  That makes 12 of the top 20 NBA players.

The NFL doesn’t see another player on the list until Tom Brady checks in at 28th.  Meanwhile, the NBA racks up 6 more players between 21-30 including “mega-stars” Steve Francis, Vince Carter, and Rashard Lewis.  The NFL fares better in the next 10 spots, with three more players including Dwight Freeney at 40th. 

Finally, the list finishes out with Mike Bibby making more money than Roethlisberger.

The perception is that the NBA is a league of overpaid loafers.  It’s hard to argue that based on this list.  NFL players must produce or be cut.  In the NBA, once a player signs a big deal, he’s set for the next several years regardless of how he performs. 

You could argue that no one is worth the big money, and it’s all ridiculous.  Maybe so, but in some cases, it’s a good deal more insane than in others.

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You called it, Shake.  It’s June!  Time for Fukudome to start his slide to oblivion.  His OPS has dropped 220 points in the last 6 weeks.  Soooo predictable.

Clark behind Witten and Winslow?  Not sure I’m buying that…

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