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Tag:Rashard Lewis
Posted on: January 10, 2012 12:38 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 12:43 pm
 

You can buy Wizards tickets for next to nothing

By Matt Moore

Apparently D.C. is treating "Wizards fever" like an actual venereal disease. Because they're staying away in droves. The winless Wizards are listed on StubHub.com for next to nothing. That's not an exaggeration, either. With the Wizards playing the Raptors Tuesday night, not exactly a marquee matchup, starting prices or the upper-upper deck are $1.00 per ticket. 

Want a VIP box? $75 dollars! Lower bowl behind the basket? $6 dollars! Get 'em while they're stagnant in sub-zero temperatures.

Meanwhile, Rashard Lewis on Monday had to refute a CSN Washington report that he skipped Sunday's game because of an argument with assistant coach Sam Cassell. 

But hey, Flip Saunders' job is safe, so they've got that going for them. Meanwhile, the Washington Posthas a quote from an Eastern Conference GM which hits the nail on the head. 
An Eastern Conference assistant general manager echoed that the Wizards need to establish a culture of accountability and high character to deliver a successful rebuild. “No team in the league, if the environment was good, would be 0-for-the-season,” he said. “Whatever the optimum each guy has, it’ll never be realized when it’s dysfunctional. The talent on that roster can’t win. You can’t win with Andray Blatche. I don’t care what anybody says. He has talent. He has some talent. But tell me where he’s won. . . . John Wall is a young player. Where’s the veteran leadership for those guys? Gilbert [Arenas] was the former example. What kind of example was that?”
via Wizards’ woes stem from from lack of talent and losing culture, executives say - The Washington Post.

And that's why you can get Wizards tickets for the change in your couch.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 2:41 pm
 

What players are losing the most in a lockout?

Posted by Royce Young

The whole strategy for owners in cancelling games is to make players miss paychecks. Maybe them miss out on collecting their large lump sums of money and ideally, you force them into taking a less than attractive deal.

That's the plan, at least.

The question is, how much will players be losing exactly by missing paychecks? We already know it's something like $80 million collectively per week, but who's taking the hit in their wallet the most? The Post Game did some crunching and here are your top 10 losers in this lockout.

10. Joe Johnson: $1,387,582.54 per paycheck
9. Amar'e Stoudemire: $1,401,361.92 per paycheck
8. Carmelo Anthony: $1,423,076.92 per paycheck
7. Pau Gasol: $1,439,550 per paycheck
6. Dirk Nowitzki: $1,468,682.54 per paycheck
5. Gilbert Arenas: $1,482,254.46 per paycheck
4. Kevin Garnett: $1,630,769.23 per paycheck
3. Tim Duncan $1,638,461.54 per paycheck
2. Rashard Lewis: $1,704,000 per paycheck
1. Kobe Bryant: $1,941,846.15 per paycheck

How did they arrive at those numbers. Here's the explanation:
Methodology: During the 1998-99 lockout, players lost pay based upon games missed. So, if a player missed one game due to the lockout, it would have cost him 1/82nd of his salary. However, since all players have slightly different schedules, we calculated pay on a paycheck basis.

Players are only paid during the regular season and receive checks bi-weekly for work that occurs the previous two weeks. The 2011-12 NBA season was supposed to have started on Nov. 1 and end on April 18. During the course of the season, that can be divided into 13 bi-weekly paychecks. The numbers were calculated by equally dividing each player's 2011-12 salary 13 times to find what they earn every two weeks during the season.

It shouldn't surprise you that Kobe is losing the most per paycheck in a lockout as he's the highest paid player in the league And the crazy thing about Kobe losing nearly $2 million per paycheck missed during the lockout is that he can recover that by playing one little exhibition game in Italy.

But it's always strange to see Rashard Lewis' name atop any of these type of lists. Yeah, I know he signed a massively ridiculous six-year $118 million deal a few years ago, but the fact he's second on this list blows the mind.

I know it's not big news to know that NBA players are going to lose a lot of money by missing paychecks, but it kind of stunned me just how much when broken down like this. I mean, think about two months missed for someone like Dirk. That's a whole lot of cash. Everyone says the players that will end up folding are the mid-level guys that make substantially less. I'm sure they will. But if I'm Tim Duncan or Kevin Garnett, I'm not exactly excited about losing $1.5 million or so every couple weeks.
Posted on: September 15, 2011 11:17 am
 

Turns out this isn't entirely about the money

By Matt Moore

Back in July when the lockout began, there were a number of standard phrases being tossed around. Chief among them is "this is all about the money." The idea was that the players and owners weren't really unmovable, it was just a matter of dollars and cents. Basically, if the BRI could be figured out, compromised on, all the rest of this would just work itself out. 

Not so much.

I was on a radio call shortly after the lockout began and expressed my concerns for everything I'd heard and read. Because what I'd gathered was that the dispute went far beyond both sides scrapping over dollars. It had turned ideological. The NBA and its owners wanted to reverse decades of precedence in guaranteed contracts, implement a hard cap, eliminate exceptions, limit player flexibility and control, and they wanted the increase in their cut of the BRI to a 50/50 split. Most people thought that was ridiculous. There was no way the owners expected all that. The thought was that while there may be games missed, if there are, it will be because the players refuse to give up enough in BRI. 

Again, not so much.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported earlier this week:
Neither side would say how far the players moved economically, but a person with knowledge of the negotiations said they expressed a willingness to move lower than the 54.3 percent of basketball-related income they last proposed on June 30 as a starting point in a six-year deal. Stern disputed the players' contention that the owners haven't made an economic move since the day before the lockout was imposed. Nobody outside the room knows how many millions the two sides shaved off the gap, but it hardly matters since everyone seemed willing to concede that they've at least dipped their toes on common ground when it comes to dollars.
via Despite posturing, owners and players near resolving money issue - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

That's extended by these comments from Jared Dudley to the Salt Lake City Tribune Wednesday:
How much was the NBPA willing to concede in basketball-related income during a collective bargaining agreement meeting Tuesday in New York: I think they offered 53, 54 [percent]. We're at 57. They're looking more in the 40s. That's a huge jump — that's over 10 percent. That's where $800 million becomes a big gap. I think we have offered $300 million and they wanted more than that.
via Suns' Jared Dudley says ball's in Billy Hunter's court as NBPA returns to square one during NBA lockout | Utah Jazz Notes | The Salt Lake Tribune.

More from Dudley:
I think [the NBPA] even went down, to be honest with you, to 53 [percent]. I talked to Roger Mason -- 53 percent. And you know what, let's say they went down to 52, 51. If that gets the season done, I guarantee you we would have the season if that's what it takes. But it's not just that, it's a lot. And right now, the owners want a lot and they're willing to sit out. Some are losing money, some are making money.
 



53 percent down from 57, and that's a starting point. Where the owners to respond with 51 or 52 percent, they could likely get somewhere within baby's breath of the 50/50 split. Probably not right at it, but no one gets everything that they want, right?

Not so much. The owners, understanding their considerable leverage, do want everything they want and expect to get it. Except that goes far beyond the 50/50 cut. This hasn't been offered, but the new standing feeling from multiple media sources is that the players could offer up the 50/50 and the owners would likely still be pursuing the hard cap.  If anything, the owners seem more entrenched the more the players seem to surrrender. It's only getting worse. 

If the concern is over the yearly losses the owners are taking in, and the players are offering to give back up to 4 percent of their take right now before negotiations even get serious, what is it that the owners do want? What's the target of all this hard-line insistence? What's the end point?

In short, it boils down to toddlers baby-proofing the house. The league's owners are looking to be able to remove themselves from the burden of bad contracts which they themselves provide. A bad contract sinks a franchise like nothing else. It's an albatross, an anchor, and a curse at the same time. It stands as a mark of their own impudence. There are exceptions of bad luck, where no one could have foreseen the injuries that would come. But for each of those there is a player who the franchise could not bear to see go, and paid despite reservations. The Blazers knew about Brandon Roy's knee condition when they offered him his extension. The Hawks were aware that Joe Johnson would be in his early-to-mid-30's when his final year of his contract is paying him over $20 million. It goes on and on, and even the smaller deals are ones they want to be able to remove themselves from.  Much of this is dictated by the market, and almost all of it is dictated not by the players, but by their agents. Consider what Rashard Lewis, one of the players under a contract that is considered dead weight, told ESPN earlier this week, and a point made by ESPN's J.A. Adande:
Just keep in mind how we got to this point: After the players agreed to a salary cap, a rookie wage scale, a maximum player salary and a luxury tax designed to slow the escalating contracts, can they really be expected to just say no to whatever money the owners kept offering?

Or, as Lewis puts it, "You sign me to a deal, you think I'm going to say, 'No, I deserve $50 [million] instead of $80 [million]?' I'm like, 'Hell, yeah.' I'm not going to turn it down. You can't blame the players. If anything, we don't negotiate the deal. We've got agents that negotiate the deals with the team. Y'all need to go talk to the teams and the agents."
via Rashard Lewis is what this lockout is all about - ESPN.

But the owners simply want to cut the agents' power off at the knees. Instead of bargaining better, they want to remove that hold. Now, in many ways, this is actually a very reasonable request. Even the players will tell you that. Dudley, once more (you really should read the entire interview with the Tribune, it's quite extensive, particularly regarding decertification):
I understand that the common thing is they don't want players that make a lot of money not playing. Look, if you were a business or you were a restaurant, you don't pay someone that you think's not [working]. We're not going to put it all on the owners. We're going to take some of the blame. But, hey, we're willing to work on it. We're just not willing to give up guaranteed contracts and $800 million.
 And yet that's what the owners are asking for. Both. Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe reported Thursday morning that the players have said that if the owners were to theoretically turn the conversation to how much BRI the players would want to accept a hard cap, the players would want 65 percent, an eight percentage points increase from their current number of 57. That's a lot of dough. That's what it would take to get a deal for the season to start. Unfortunately, the owners would never accept that because while the systemic changes they want are extremely important to their belief in what is necessary for the league to profitable and to increase competitiveness (despite any number of challenges to the idea that a hard cap would result in such competitive balance), they still do want the money. It's not that they want one more than the other, it's that they want their cake, to eat it, too, and to have the players bring them as many slices as they want until they are full. And if that means it takes until January, or an entire season to force the players to accept both conditions, that's what they're willing to do at this moment. 

There's been a lot of talk since Tuesday's "sky is falling" meeting reaction about how things are actually progressing. And there's a certain element of that. The players gave ground, and still didn't get what they want, a resolution. So now the standard for negotiations has shifted. The new status quo is working off the assumption the players will surrender that percentage of the BRI, and the owners are now working to see what else they can get. If the hard liners on the owners' side of the table maintain control, it will be until they squeeze every drop they can from the players that we get a season. If the moderates manage to reclaim the gavel, a reasonable shift with a harder while not "hard" cap and the salary rollbacks could be agreed upon in time to start the season or shortly thereafter. 

And that's where we return to the fundamental psychology involved here. If this is a business negotiation, there's progress to be made, a system to create, a season to save. If this remains ideological from the owners' side, the only reasonable prediction is for an equally extremist reaction from the players. Talks broke down because the owners have kept to that ideological divide. And the only way this whole God forsaken thing ends is if the two sides are talking. 

Meanwhile, the agents wait in the forest like wolves waiting for the right time to attack, and if that happens and decertification is the plan, everything is thrown into the air as this enters the courts. Things only get worse from there. There's definitely a chance talks could resume and the two sides could find enough common ground to spearhead things into a blossoming agreement that gets things started in time for the season without a single game lost. But in reality?

Not so much. 
Posted on: August 1, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 4:22 pm
 

Report: David Stern earns salary of $20+ million?

Posted by Ben Golliver. 

david-stern

Those cufflinks could be made of solid gold, the cuffs constructed from the finest ivory. 

Yahoo! Sports reports that NBA commissioner David Stern could make more in salary than all but a handful of the league's players.
Many owners don’t even know what Stern makes. “I’d say three or less know,” one NBA owner told Yahoo! Sports. Several believe it’s somewhere in the range of $20 million to $23 million a year, but no one knows for sure. Maybe it’s more than that, but the fact that some owners don’t know the answer is beyond belief.
That salary ballpark squares with a New York Daily News report from February -- noted by CBSSports.com's Matt Moore in a piece on the league's opulent culture -- which pegged Stern's salary at $23 million.

Only one NBA player is set to make more than $25 million during the 2011-2012 season: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who is on the books for $25.2 million.  

Only three other players are set to make more than $20 million: Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett ($21.2 million), San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan ($21.2 million) and Washington Wizards forward Rashard Lewis ($21.1 million). 

Stern is reportedly set to bring home more bacon than the league's worst contracts: Orlando Magic guard Gilbert Arenas ($19.3 million) and Phoenix Suns guard Vince Carter ($18.9 million, although only a fraction of that is guaranteed). He will also reportedly make more than most of the league's biggest stars, including Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki ($19.1 million), Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol ($18.7 million), New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony ($18.5 million) and Amar'e Stoudemire ($18.2 million), Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard ($18.1 million) and all three of the Miami Heat's Big 3 of LeBron James ($16.0 million), Dwyane Wade ($15.7 million) and Chris Bosh ($16.0 million).

Two pieces of information worth pointing out. First, Stern has held the commissioner title since 1984, so he's had more than two and a half decades to rack up pay raises. There's a very good chance he is the league's highest-paid employee by leaps and bounds. Second, Stern pledged not to accept any salary in the event of a work stoppage at the 2011 All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.
Stern was asked whether he would reduce his salary to $1 if the two sides could not reach a labor agreement, as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has pledged recently. Stern said: "Last time, I ddin't take any salary. I think a dollar would be too high in the event of a work stoppage." 
Still, that seems like an awful lot of money for the league's chief executive. Windfall salaries for chief executives in many industries are often tied to periods of peak company performance. The NBA, though, claims never to have had a positive operating income during the duration of the last Collective Bargaining Agreement. 
Posted on: June 17, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Basketball players lead top 50 richest athletes

Posted by Royce Young

It's good to be a basketballer.

Sports Illustrated released its annual "Fortunate 50" list that compiles the top 50 earners in sports. And basketball players lead the way with 19 of the top 50. Baseball was second with 17, the NFL third with eight, NASCAR and golf tied for fourth with three.

LeBron James was the top basketball money-maker, coming in third overall with an estimated $44.5 million this past year. That included $30 million from endorsements alone. All that badwill created from The Decision didn't appear to hurt King James in the pocketbook. Maybe he can offer Dirk Nowitzki a couple milion to touch the trophy.

Kobe Bryant checked in sixth making $34.8 million total, Kevin Garnett was seventh making $32.8 milion total and Dwight Howard 10th making $28.6 million total. So if you count that up, four of the top 10 came from the NBA. Three came from the NFL, and two apiece from golf and baseball.

(One thing to note: The original 50 list doesn't include international athletes. Yao Ming made $35.6 million last year and would've ranked sixth, ahead of Kobe, but he's on a separate international list. Dirk and Pau Gasol both made around $21 million.)

The rest of the NBA list:

11. Dwyane Wade: $28.2 million
16. Amar'e Stoudemire: $24.5 million
21. Carmelo Anthony: $23.1 million
24. Tim Duncan: $22.3 million
27. Vince Carter: $20.5 million

29. Rashard Lewis: $20.3 million
31. Kevin Durant: $20.0 million
34. Michael Redd: $18.5 million
36. Gilbert Arenas: $17.9 million
37. Zach Randolph: $17.7 million

40. Kenyon Martin: $16.8 million
43. Joe Johnson: $16.5 million
45. Elton Brand: $16.5 million
49. Paul Pierce: $15.6 million
50. Chris Bosh: 15.5 million

Posted on: May 22, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: May 22, 2011 6:56 pm
 

Rose denies saying PEDs 'huge' issue in NBA

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose says the NBA has a "huge" issue with performance enhancing drugs. Posted by Ben Golliver. derrick-rose-usa

Update (2:02 p.m.): Rose denied making the "huge issue" statement to CBSSports.com's Ken Berger through a team spokesman. The Chicago Tribune reports that a source close to Rose said the question was phrased differently than was presented in the article. Here's more from CBSSports.com's Ken Berger, including thoughts from Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade and an official statement from Rose released Sunday afternoon.

Original Post:

The 2011 NBA MVP knows what he would like to see changed about the league.

In a survey of PED use in various sports in the May 16 issue of ESPN: The Magazine, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose was asked to rank its prevalance on a scale of 1-10, with one signifying "What are PEDs?" and 10 meaning "Everybody's juicing!"

Rose's response: "Seven. It's huge and I think we need a level playing field, where nobody has that advantage over the next person."

By comparison, James Laurinaitis of the NFL's St. Louis Rams also ranked his league's problem with PEDs a 7. The only sports to receive higher rankings from their representatives: Boxing (10) and MMA (8). MLB was ranked a 5.

While PEDs have been an ongoing black mark for both the NFL and MLB, the NBA has largely avoided any controversy on the subject. Indeed, the general assumption has long been that NBA players would not resort to steroids or other performance enhancers because they need agility and athleticism rather than raw power and bulk.

A major reason for that assumption has been the lack of players -- especially prominent players -- caught by the league's anti-drug program. Rose's statement appears to call into question that program, which includes testing for both illegal and performance-enhancing drugs.

Its two biggest catches: back in August 2009, then Orlando Magic forward Rashard Lewis was suspended 10 games for PEDs. In January 2011, Memphis Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo suffered a similar fate.

But if the current policy isn't producing a "level playing field," what is it doing? If the league's strongest point guard -- a player who can get to the rim against every team in the league and who has a lot to lose by speaking his mind -- feels like things are unfair, this is potentially a very serious problem, right?

Hat tip: IamaGM.com
Posted on: March 17, 2011 7:47 pm
 

Rashard Lewis done for the year?

Posted by Royce Young

Rashard Lewis has missed Washington's last five games due to a sore right knee. Not that anyone has really noticed because the Wizards have been absolutely terrible, losing five straight and nine of their last 10.

Lewis though, is as important a piece to Washington's success as anyone though because it's a team devoid of depth and much talent so with him or Andray Blatche, the group has struggled.

But they may need to prepare to finish our their rough 2010-11 campaign without him. According to the Washington Post, Lewis will get another opinion on his right knee this week, but as the report says, it's unlikely Lewis will play again this year.

There's potential Lewis could need surgery and if that's the case, obviously he'd be out. But either way, there's no rush for him to come back. He's signed through 2012 (through 2013, but that's non-guaranteed) and is owed about $40 million for those two years. Lewis may not be part of the Wizards' long-term plan, but him being healthy next season is something they'd surely hope for.

He's been pretty good for the Wizards since his trade there from the Magic. Nothing fantastic, but definitely a contributor, putting in around 12-14 points a night.

With his knee situation, it is tanking time, so the Wizards might encourage him to just rest up anyway. They aren't playing for anything other than a few extra ping-pong balls.
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 7, 2011 12:24 pm
 

Dwight Howard is already setting up an escape

Dwight Howard has started making a list of cities to bolt to even as he says he wants to win a championship in Orlando. But doesn't some of that burden fall on him?
Posted by Matt Moore

The worst part of all this is that Dwight Howard won't come out and say it. He's pulling the whole routine. From saying how much he loves the fans, to saying he "just" wants to win a championship, to leaking to the press through people close to him that he wants to go to a big market, he's following the plan, the blueprint, the design.

The LeBron James "Set Up Your Escape" plan. Copyright 2010. 

From Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: 

Howard evidently is willing to be patient. A free agent in 2012 along with the Hornets' Chris Paul, Howard has yet to form a strong opinion one way or the other, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking. Stay or go? To paraphrase LeBron, what should he do? If he does leave, Howard has his eyes on two teams -- the Lakers and Knicks -- as the big-market destinations where he'll chase down his championships and marketing opportunities if things don't work out in the Sunshine State. The Nets, who are supposed to be in Brooklyn by then, also are in the mix, the person said.
via Magic's troubling questions surround futures of Howard, Arenas - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.


You've seen this before, right? With Shaquille O'Neal, obviously, in the same city, leaving for one of those cities on Howard's list, then winning championships while yet another small market team is made out to be the farm system. (But really, revenue sharing and parity isn't a problem in this league!) You've seen this before with LeBron James, never saying he was going to leave, saying he loved the fans, and that he just wants to win a championship. 

And that's the big one, right there. Because somewhere along the way, that's become our excuse. It predates even Kevin Garnett, but he's the most recent example. Any sort of franchise-crippling behavior and hostage-holding endeavors are excused in the pursuit of "winning a championship." The problem? This talk of winning a title always seems to come without any responsibility for the player. It's always about the GM, the coach, the organization doing more for the free-agent-to-be. 

Dwight Howard's not saying, "I want to win a championship, so I'm going to stop leaving 4.8 points per game on the floor with my free-throw shooting." He's not saying, "I want to win a championship, so I'm going to work on my footwork beyond a three-day session with Hakeem Olajuwon and become a truly dominant offensive center." He's not saying, "I want a championship, so I'm going to lead my guys to one." Instead he's laughing, making commercials, ratcheting up technical fouls as he spirals towards a suspension, and setting up the blame to be elsewhere. 

We're supposed to believe that if the Magic fail to win a title, it's due to a lack of endeavor or ingenuity on Otis Smith's part. But what has Smith done in Orlando? He's provided Howard with a crack stretch four with perimeter range and a versatile combo-forward who could run the pick and roll. When those options overstayed their usefulness, he jettisoned them, with no regard for their contribution to the franchise, because he was doing everything in his power to secure a championship-caliber team for Howard. He brought in Vince Carter, former All-Star. He helped develop Jameer Nelson as a sub-All-Star caliber point guard. He brought in Brandon Bass for a true power forward. He found a steal in young Ryan Anderson. He flipped Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis for a range of talent, including the player Howard had found the most success in the pick and roll with, Hedo Turkoglu, and a top perimeter player in Jason Richardson. Gilbert Arenas was icing on the cake, for crying out loud. 

And we're supposed to believe that Orlando hasn't done enough? Sure Howard had a dominant first half. But then he vanished against the Celtics. The Magic keep trying to find different perimeter concoctions to overtake the Celtics, but in reality? The best way to beat the Celtics is to bash their head in with the most powerful center in the game.  The same center who still, even in an MVP-worthy season, has trouble establishing position, and often follows the same footwork time and time again, leading to blocks, turnovers, and frustration. Howard never adapts to how the Celtics defend him, instead he wonders why the rest of the Magic can't hit a shot. 

This isn't to say Howard isn't an elite player. He is, by any possible measure. He's having an MVP-type season. But he's already starting to formulate an escape plan to get him out of Orlando without sacrificing his public image. He's making the failures out to be everyone's but his own. He'll wind up in a big market that can lure top free agents or trade prospects and he'll simply overwhelm others with talent, as we've seen the Lakers and Celtics do over the past four seasons.  And then he'll be lauded as the greatest, even if he doesn't improve a bit. 

If Howard wants to play in a bigger market to expand his commercial potential, fine. He's a businessman, he's got to take care of his own. If he wants to play somewhere he'll amazingly get more attention than he already does, have bigger parties, or more celebrity opportunities, that's his right. As a free agent, you get to decide where you work. But don't pretend that everything is done in the pursuit of a championship. A championship is more than just an overwhelming amount of talent. It's about sacrifice, devotion, and a commitment to being the absolute best part of your team you can be. 

If Dwight Howard really wants to win a championship, if he truly wants to be great, he needs to take responsibility for that endeavor, and not hold a franchise hostage, forced into panic over the prospect of losing him. 

But then, that's no longer the model.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com