Why The NBA is in Trouble

July 05, 2012 | Shawn Weimer

The NBA is currently in large amounts of trouble and it is not from their players criminal history. The NBA is in about as much financial trouble as Greece well maybe not that much but close. The NBA has not been quiet about how their attendance and revenues to match their expenditures on a yearly basis.  This problem was personified this past season when the Miami Heat owner came out and said he expected to lose money off of this season. That is especially sad when he had the advantage of selling out the building for 13 more games in the playoffs, additionally he also got to sell NBA Finals apparel and NBA Champions apparel.

The biggest reason for the NBA crisis was brought to the attention of sports fans yesterday on America’s 236th birthday. Ryan Suter and Zach Parsie signed with the Minnesota Wild for 13 years 98 million dollars apiece. On the surface the novice fan would say that is a lot of money, but over 13 years the contract has an annual value of 7.5 million which is still close to tops in the NHL, but no where near the top in the NBA. Compared to Deron Williams who also signed for 98 million dollars with the new Brooklyn Nets, but his contract is only over 5 years.

The NBA is riddled with contracts for players that have 2 good years and then hit the free agency market and get paid big money without having the tag of proven commodity. Rashard Lewis is the player that comes to mind he had two very productive years in Orlando , and one playoff run to the finals which is where he made all his money for the next year. After leaving Orlando via mid-season trade to the Wizards he has been a mediocre player for the Wizards and has been traded again because teams are afraid of assuming the rest of his contract he has since been traded to New Orleans. Being traded 2 times in a calender year would not be trait one would expect from the 4th highest paid player in the league. Also included in this list of players who are productive,but get big time money Elton Brand (11th in the league) Antawn Jamison (20th in the league).  The other reason NBA contracts  are a problem are the lifetime achievement contracts such as Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett I understand they WERE hall of fame caliber, and Tim Duncan may be the best power forward ever, but in today’s game Duncan and Garnett are solid 15 and 10 guys, but those numbers do not warrant being the 2nd and 3rd highest paid player in the league. Especially Garnett just signed another lifetime achievement contract worth 35 million over 3 years seems a bit much for a 36 year old power forward 15-20 ppg guy.

In addition to terrible contracts the next reason the NBA is in financial crisis are because the arenas on a night to night basis are half-full (that’s optimism). The fans for NBA games excluding the Chicago Bulls, Portland Trailblazers, and Oklahoma City Thunder arrive late for important games. This does not even account for the mid-week January games where fans choose not to show up. A reason for lack of fan involvement is because of the lack of parity  in the NBA such as Miami Heat at home against the Charlotte Bobcats Miami Heat fans do not show up because they as well as the Bobcats players know the game will be out of reach by the second quarter.

The NBA signed a new CBA last fall. However, the CBA obviously did not address the problems of high salaries and lack of attedance. The NBA needs to cut the expenses and make it so owners of the NBA can make it into the black.