Mmmm, Crow!

Nov 2, 2012 by


Conversation at the Old 67 offices on October 31st, around 5PM.

Alan – How about Harden signed for fucking 16 million a year?

Matt – You should write about it, it seems like it boiled down to 6 million more than the OKC was willing to pay…for a part time player.

Alan – yeah… I’m not familiar enough with the Rockets to know how much Harden helps them, but I know it hurts the Thunder.

Matt – Harden is a nice player, but he won’t change the Rockets from being mediocre – now they have two big contracts, he and Lin… I think the Rockets are dumb.

Alan – It kind of feels like late 80s Yankees spending.  What kills me is if this was baseball and they paid a super sub, think Martin Prado in 2009 when he hit over 300 with an 822 OPS and played 3 different positions, if they paid him 15 million a year, everyone on every sports page and fan site would flip the fuck out.  It would be the end of the world, the outcry would be huge.  It would be the equivalent of encouraging poor people to eat their own babies.

Matt – You’re right – no one bitches about the NBA contracts and those can be awful…Why is that?

Alan – And really, if high salaries piss you off, NBA contracts should piss you off more, because they have a salary cap.  So any poorly spent money takes money away from someone else you could spend it on.  In baseball, if you have the budget, you can spend however you want.

My theory is the general public gets so pissed off about baseball contracts because baseball was the first to get free agency and unionize.  They have a serious union, they’ve struck and won and they represent all that our country tends to feel about unions (when they or their family members are not in them).  Baseball stepped in, without meaning to, and took on the mantel of Over Priced Athletes with a Too Powerful Union.

The other unions, most notably NFL and NBA (Is the NHL actually still in existence?) have really shitty unions that couldn’t get their players a pack of gum and an old issue of Highlights.  So clearly it’s not the unions fault they make lots of money, it’s because the players are worth it.

This is also why normally sane people will advocate for a salary cap. Who in their right mind would tell their own employer they should have a salary cap?  What company would tell a competitor -“Hey it’s unfair that you have more money than me, you shouldn’t get to spend it like that because I can’t compete”.  Why would you wish a salary cap on your sport? They’ll tell you it’s to allow competition.  Think about that.  You live in a capitalistic society, totally based on competition.  You follow a competitive sport.  The owners of the teams are expected to utilize and allocate their resources to their advantage and exploit any market weakness to your advantage.  So you’re telling me that because you’re ownership can’t do that you think the other owners should be hampered so your team can be more competitive?  That’s crap, the real reason is you’re chicken shit and don’t believe your team will ever be able to compete.  Any other reason is invalid.

Matt – So… Harden is over-priced and nobody cares, is that your basic assertion?

Alan – I think Harden is over-priced and everyone either thinks he’s worth it, or they don’t care.  That doesn’t mean I don’t think he can help the Rockets, it doesn’t even mean I think it’s a bad move.  The Rockets want butts in the seats and they got two high profile players this winter, if anything they should sell a lot of jerseys.

Alan – I also want to stress that I think this hurts OKC.  I don’t think they should pay him 80 million, but I think this hurts them; he was a monster off the bench.

Conversation the following Thursday at 9:30 am

Matt – Did you see Harden?  37 points and12 rebounds.

Alan – I know, holy shit he went off.  I saw some ridiculous stat this morning that Harden averaged like 35 points without Durant on the floor.

Matt – I know, I had no idea – I was looking at that Rockets team, there isn’t much going on, there’s no reason he couldn’t average 25 points a game.

Alan – yeah, those kinds of stats are bullshit though, and let’s face it – like you said, Harden is a GOOD player, he should score, he should average over 20 points a game, but is he worth 16 million, that’s the original question.  Shit, if he scores 37 a game, they should give him more…

Matt – Should OKC have paid him 60 million?  That was what he originally wanted.

Alan – I think it depends on how they wanted to use him, and honestly, how much money they have to spend.  It kind of goes back to that article that Jay Caspian King wrote.  Why are we the stewards of their money?  I don’t know how much money they have or why they spend it like they do.  They had a championship caliber team last year, and Harden was a big part of it.  He’s young, he’s good, is he worth 60 million of my money?  No.  Is he worth 60 million of someone else’s?  Quite possibly.

Alan – I guess my answer is no, he’s probably not worth it.  One game doesn’t mean anything right?

Matt – Mmgphgh

Alan – Huh?

Matt – What?  Sorry, had my mouth full of crow…

Alan – Right.  Sigh, might as well pass some over here.

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