Slap On The Wrist: Why The NBA Can’t Control It’s Players

Open Wide Kobe, Your Feet Are Big

Kobe just recently threw a temper tantrum after not getting the call he wanted in a game. He threw his towel. He punched his team mate Joe Smith. Then in rage called the ref a “Fucking Faggot.” Was he thrown out of the game? No. If there’s ever been a better example that ‘respect for the game’ rules are nothing more then a bunk marketing ploy designed to give already incompetent refs more control to ‘enhance’ the NBA via the whistle, I have not seen it.

But this article is really not about Kobe or his slur. He should have been suspended games for screaming slurs on national television. Had he called the ref a “Kike” or some other ignorant, hate filled term I’m sure this would be the result. But this article is also not about how the NBA not so secretly condones a league of ignorant homophobes.

No, this is about the league’s ineffectiveness to do administrate itself in any kind of disciplinary fashion. This failure results in players/staff who do, say, and behave any way they please. It’s about why this happens.

The league fined Kobe yesterday for his offence. 100,000 USD. It sounds steep for one word, even if it was hate filled and ignorant. But was it? Last year Kobe made 25 million dollars from playing basketball making the fine 1/250’th of his total salary. Did Kobe even blink when he got the fine? I doubt it considering the blatant behaviour on national television. He knows he got off easy.

The average American makes 32,000 USD per year. 1/250 of 32,000 means Kobe was fined the equivalent of 128 dollars. Lets compare this to a normal response. Isiah Washington got fired after winning awards for Gray’s Anatomy. His infraction was not hate filled. There was no malice. The gay dude he was joking with was cool with it. He got fired. In reality, they fined Kobe less a speeding ticket. People still speed and players will still scream bigoted remarks in games.

That’s not even the beginning of the issue. The league loves to make a show of spanking it’s players over it’s knee. But the fines they hand out are actually just books players can stuff down their pants. Kobe makes much more money from endorsements then from playing basketball. In 2011 Kobe is reported to be grossing upwards of 64 million dollars. 1/640’th of that went to his ‘punishment’. The equivalent fine Joe Average would pay is 50 bucks, or, about what Kobe makes every 30 seconds.

When Questioned About This Enormous Yacht,
Mikel Prokorhov Did Not Even Know Where
In The World It Was. Would a 16 Cent Fine
Phase You? Think About How Absurd This Is.

It’s not just Kobe though. So lets break down some recent actions by the league in it’s effort to pretend like it does anything to induce good behaviour.

The League fined the Nets $50,000 for Jay-Z’s contact with underclass men during the NCAA tournament. The Nets owner is an oligarch worth over 9.5 billion dollars. Yes, they fined him for 1/190,000’th of his net worth. The average American net worth is around that $32,000 mark again. So the NBA fined Mikel for roughly an average man’s 16 cents. 17 cents if you round up. Why bother fining at all?

But these are just the crazy rich people, right? The exceptions? Sadly, no. JR Smith was fined $25,000 for a nasty flagrant foul. About 1/268’th of his 6.7 million dollar salary. That translates to about 120 Bucks for intentionally hitting Raja Bell in the head on a play.

25k for hitting a guy in the head? But what happens when you merely speak honestly in an interview about the officials. The guys who have been given ‘more’ power. Stan Van Gundy and Shaq have both received $35,000 fines merely for commenting on the mediocre job refs were doing. It’s still irrelevant since Shaq is one of the richest athletes in history and at 4-5 million per SVG won’t be losing much sleep.

Their idea of discipline is sending a child to a room full of toys. The only reason they do that is to look good in front of all the other parents at day care. There’s little point to fines and the bigger a star/richer you are the less you have to give a damn what anyone thinks.

Shaq’s Reaction To Being Fined More Then The
Average American Makes In A Whole Year. Does He Care?

The league favours stars to the point of embarrassment. Kobe punches people and uses hate speech on TV and is not even thrown out of that particular game. The league fosters an environment where players feel they are actually above the laws set up by the state as Gilbert Arenas thought it was cool to bring guns to work as a joke.

Stephen Jackson fired his piece into the air outside a strip club and Delonte West thought it was cool to just drive around with a shot gun on his motor cycle.

Is there a better way? Of course there is. Instead of fining cash amounts or simply suspending players, fine them for a percentage of their salary. Then instead of a 30k fine for talking about the refs it’s only x%. Actually, lets just stop fining players for expressing their opinions. Then fine heavy when players actually do something wrong.

It’s obvious the league is aware the system is not even close to working since they are the ones who sign the cheques. The players know that they’re above their employers anyway with massive contracts. Want proof? Kobe just made a little over $30,000 (a third of his fine) in the short time it took me to write this article.



5 Comments on "Slap On The Wrist: Why The NBA Can’t Control It’s Players"

  1. I'm not going to call you names but really? Have some people who you respect and aren't afraid to tell you the truth proof read your stuff before you commit it to the net

  2. So according to your 1% rule kobe should have been fined six hundred forty thousand dollars and the nets should have been fined one hundred ninety million dollars right?

  3. i don't agree with the percentage fines. the heavier punishment would be suspension from games without pay. and then, community work that involves heavy, dirty, or boring work. ask the players to care for the elderly, wipe their asses, or work as a garbage man or a construction worker. just give punishment that the player (and coaches) will actually abhor.

  4. How would percentage fines == heavier fines? I mean, game suspensions without pay 'are' percentage fines. If you get paid for 82 games and you take a game away it's a 82'th of your pay. I love the idea you have about ass wiping and community service though. That's a fantastic idea.

  5. TJ, seriously? The writing is not that bad. I love how people over-react and put things under a microscope when their fave players aren't having their asses kissed. Lordy.

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