by Candito Hernandez
This morning I got a text message from a friend of mine. Not just any friend, my “doom-and-gloom” friend. We all recognize that friend. The one that needs to be talked off the ledge time and time again. Well today my “D&G” friend was worried about the NBA lockout and the season being canceled. The same way he was worried about the NFL season being canceled. When my friend sees the news stories about Commissioner David Stern threatening to cancel the season his palms sweat and his teeth grind. This is where I stop him and tell him to relax. There is little chance of the NBA season being canceled. In fact I went as far as to tell him there is absolutely no way it would happen. It’s all posturing and fear tactics being used against the players. Look, I am not saying that they will play 82 games. I can see games being taken off the schedule, but the whole season canceled? That is just bad business. The NBA is already feeling the pinch of the economy and they know that a lockout will only serve to alienate fans. Now the NFL could have lost a game or two of the season and still been fine. Sure there would be some bitterness but football is sports king. The NBA on the other hand has had problems with fan support the last few years and the strong interest this season is something they cannot afford to squander. Will they cancel a few games? Possibly. Will the season itself be canceled? I think not.
Now that wasn’t the only thing that my friend was worried about. You see he had some problems understanding how the new salary cap might work. My friend heard the rumors of them implementing a hard cap that no team would be allowed to go over and he was very concerned. Now my friend is a Laker fan and his teams salary is hovering around the $90 million range and he heard rumors teams would have to cut players or trade them to get under that hard number. Sure, I have heard these rumors myself, and being a Miami Heat fan I have taken a lot of joy in listening to the “D&G”ers predicting that Miami will have to get rid of one of their three stars. This is just laughable to me and anyone with half a brain should realize that it would be near impossible for them to go to some hard cap. Kobe Bryant will make around a $30 million salary in the next year or two which that alone is enough to tell you these numbers just will not work. It’s simple, having a hard cap would force many teams into some cataclysmic fire sale which just is not good business. I told my friend, he needs to relax and not worry so much about salary cap concerns. The salary cap will remain soft and the owners will get the luxury tax on anyone going over the soft cap numbers raised. The cap last year was about $58 million and over ten teams crossed that number. For every dollar the team went over that number they were forced to match dollar for dollar. So if a team had a $60 million dollar payroll they would be $2 million over and have to pay an additional $2 million on top of that. Look for that number to double and maybe even triple with the extra revenue being shared among the less well off teams. This would make the playing fields a little more leveled and allow some of the smaller market teams to compete for free agents.
I understand all this math is a tough read so enough of that nonsense and let me break it down for you like this. The NBA season will return so step away from the ledge people. Also once again all eyes will be back to my Miami Heat as they continue their quest for not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but (insert insane number) of championships. Thanks for giving people something to hold over your head for the rest of your career Lebron. As far as the salary cap goes it will not be drastically different from last year and the rules will allow the Heat to add pieces to their already solid nucleus which will be easy because let’s be real, who wouldn’t want to play on this team with all the media attention they got during year #1. Oh yea and in closing I want to state that I am predicting the Miami Heat will win the championship next year while all the “haters” will claim winning the championship means nothing because they have to win the next ten. Yes my friend is in a better place now mentally and hopefully you are too. Unfortunately welcoming a new NBA season for me will be having to listen to the over analysis that this ADD society is now accustomed to.