Blog Entry

Wade: NBA stars worth far more than they earn

Posted on: September 30, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 11:43 am
Posted by Ben Golliverdwyane-wade

Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade is set to bring in a salary of $15.7 million in the 2011-2012 season. According to Wade, the value of an NBA superstar is such that he might make more than three times that salary if the league didn't have a salary cap in place.

Yahoo Sports asked him what the going rate for a franchise star would be. Here was the response.
“I’m sure it would get to $50 million,” Wade told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday afternoon.

“In terms of driving revenue, if the NBA had no cap, the compensation would be totally different,” Wade said. “Like baseball, where they have no cap, you see the players that they feel fill arenas, that people come out to see, A-Rod, those kind of guys, look at how much money they make on their deals.

“You’ve got guys – starting with Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe and LeBron – all players that individually people wanted to come to see. And wanted to just have a glimpse, just one glimpse, to be able to say that I’ve seen that person play. For what they’ve done for the game, what they’ve done for organizations, I don’t think you can really put a dollar amount on it.”

The only real flaw in what Wade said is that perhaps he lowballed the number. If the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls, or billionaires like Mark Cuban and Paul Allen, were able to get into a bidding war for the services of Wade or LeBron James unemcumbered by a salary cap, are we sure that $50 million per year would be the highest bid? Given how one star player can change an entire team's trajectory and global profile, it seems reasonable to guess that the number could go higher, perhaps much higher.  

Unfortunately for Wade, his comments, which are economically accurate, couldn't come at a worse time. The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are set to meet Friday to continue a crucial stretch of talks that will determine whether the 2011-2012 season starts on time. For many, Wade's comments, because he is a star himself, will read as whiny complaining: "I'm underpaid." 

That message, even if that's not actually what he said or meant, hurts the image of all NBA players and the union's leadership, which is tasked with holding all the disparate interests of the players together. It's also the last thing anyone wants to hear when they must face the fact that their favorite team might not take the court like normal come November. All of a sudden, the guy who sells out the entire arena thanks to his fame starts to look an awful lot like a scapegoat.

Crying poor is never a winning plan for a millionaire. Not in this economy and not with the amount of money NBA players are taking home. But Wade didn't do that here. All he said was that superstars would make significantly more money if there was no salary cap. Whether the average person or casual fan reads closely enough to realize that, though, remains to be seen.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: October 2, 2011 12:59 pm

Wade: NBA stars worth far more than they earn

It's comments like this that make Dwayne Wade look like a pure dumbass.  He needs to stop crying and be a little thankful the fact that we sports fans already value him as much as we do.  Which seems to be too much already.

Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: October 2, 2011 12:12 pm

Wade: NBA stars worth far more than they earn

While I completely agree that under the current system a players value could greatly rise. I would only plee that no one person really needs that much cash sports have gotten riddiculously crazy over the years. I think it would be great if the league were to give back the game to the fans and comunity that support them. Give a break to the fans by lowering the cost of games, give back to the comunity through churches and outreach programs. The problem with sports today started with greedy owners!

Since: Jan 4, 2011
Posted on: October 2, 2011 10:10 am

Wade: NBA stars worth far more than they earn

I think some of these poor players are already broke: saw last night where John Wall, Michael Beasley, Jeff Green and some others are coming to town to play a local semi-pro team.  They want me to pay $20 to sit in a High School gym and watch them go thru a half-speed exhibition against guys I can play pick-up against.  They are so freakin' clueless on so many different levels that it's almost sad.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: October 2, 2011 9:40 am

Wade: NBA stars worth far more than they earn

This clown is the exact reason so many have been turned off by the game. What a great ambassador you are Wade. Its an ignorant statement as it is but in this economy and with a lockeout in session you couldn't have picked a worse time to run your mouthSealed

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: October 2, 2011 1:43 am

Wade: NBA stars worth far more than they earn

I used to really be a big fan of Wade, but ever since he signed his contract and teamed up with LeQueen, he suddenly changed.  His ego shot up 200% of what it was and he now thinks that he is entitled to his superstar treatment.  He has said ridiculous comments over the last year like it was unfair that the Heat were hated and then mocking Dirk for being sick on purpose just because the cameras were in front of them.  This team will never be liked and the more Wade speaks, the less and less people will root for them and the more they will find ways to root against him.  This latest comment is exactly what is wrong with the NBA and pro sports in general.  These guys cry like they earn so little money when they are the highest paid people after movie stars in this country.  He has to be kidding saying NBA stars like himself are underpaid.  Even the lowest paid payers earn far more than the average middle class American.  I wish I could be talented at something that I find "fun" and can go out and "play" and earn millions.  I am not saying they do not work hard, but their job requires them to play for a living.  Teachers, police officers, lawyers, and other professionals do not "play" at their jobs and get millions to do it.  They have to work most of their adult lives and retire at an old age.  These guys go to work to play for 15 years or so, retire at 40, and are set for life.  To go out and play a game, there is no way these NBA superstars are worth more than the $14 million he earns.  That is more than enough to feed his family, pay his taxes, and pay for his kids' education.  Maybe it is not enough for his lavish lifestyle, but if that is the case, it is yet another spoiled superstar athlete crying that pro athletes do not make enough money.  These comments are exactly why the lockout is still going on and why people do not like the NBA.  These super teams getting put together putting the best players on 5 teams is exactly why the rest of the owners are mad and do not want to settle with the players.  While it is better than baseball's system since teams like the Royals cannot be the Yankees farm system due to a salary cap, the Heat trio coming together is making the NBA shift in that direction. Although I am a Knicks fan and live in that big market, I feel a hard cap is needed to give every team an equal chance like in football and so these players can be kept in line and these super teams will no longer be able to get put together, ruining any competition.

Since: Mar 2, 2009
Posted on: October 2, 2011 12:36 am

Wade: NBA stars worth far more than they earn

I hope the owners make these crack heads sit out a year. I bet most of them file for bankruptcy.

Since: Mar 1, 2009
Posted on: October 1, 2011 11:52 pm

Wade: NBA stars worth far more than they earn

School teachers are worth far more than they earn, NBA players contribute shit to society and play a game for a living for millions and millions of dollars a year. Why am I not surprised this is coming from one of the pampered Miami threesome?
Let me know which school teacher can shoot the three and drive in traffic against seven footers over a hundred games and be billboards for a billion dollar industry?  

I'm sort of kidding here, but the vast majority of school teachers suck.  Why?  Because everyone is payed the same regardless of value.  That's sort of the point here.  Superstars are great because they're great.  Great school teachers are almost never paid according to their relative value.  The same washed up teacher who makes no sense is often paid the same as the brilliant motivator.  Not good.  In the end, the Miami whiners, while being immature, do have a point when you consider the bigger picture.  If teachers bargained the same way, and the industry was judged on ability, it would indeed be a better world.   

Since: Sep 26, 2011
Posted on: October 1, 2011 11:48 pm

Wade: NBA stars worth far more than they earn

. ypu sound like a tried and true rascist especially when you bring obama into it. Jesus do you idiots rember bush the man who created all this messd what about the white guys who are illerate in nba

NICE. You clarify my point. I feel so ILLERATE.  Between your grammar, Obama running the country into the ground, and nba players spouting off backed up by their mail order GED's quit while you are ahead. About 15 months remaining. Right about when one group the players will be going back to work and when another man will be leaving DC. Another genius who voted based on a photo. The man came down on your own people.

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2011 11:04 pm

Wade: NBA stars worth far more than they earn

Dwayne Wade is very special in his own mind.  David Stern created this mess of glorifying the league of superstars and for all intents and purposes destroying a team sport.  Stern has pushed the referees to give preferential treatment to the superstars because fans don't come out to watch games to see a superstar foul out of a game.  Due to this preferential treatement Dwayne Wade's statistics have been inflated for most of his career.  The preferential treatment for getting fouls has probably increased his scoring average approximately 3 - 5 points considering he gets more free throws due to preferential treatment and gets more minutes because he is in less foul trouble due to preferential treatment.  Wade is a great player but I would still love to see this pompous kid play on an even playing field with the rest of the players in the league.

Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2011 10:18 pm

Wade: NBA stars worth far more than they earn

NBA "stars" enjoy the benefit of the fact that the NBA system allows them to make so much money. 12 man teams that really only rely on the effort of the top 8 guys for the most part and a couple superstars for a signficant part means more money for everyone than a true team sport like football which requires many more quality players to go along with the superstars. 

What Wade doesn't mention that if there was no cap and the Heat paid him $50 million on the open market, then his counterparts would take such a significant pay cut that it would be comical. Hard cap doesn't mean there's more money that could be had for the players across the board, it just means the money is being spread around more (un)fairly -- depending on how you look at it.

Oh, by the way, imagine the product on the court if the current system in the NBA was replaced with baseball's. Does anyone really want to see the equivalent of the Kansas City Royals in the NBA?


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