A few years ago, the NBA bailed out a bunch of GM's by letting them
waive one player with no luxury tax implications. Yes, the cap number
still counted… and the players still got all the money owed to
them… but owners weren't hit with the double-whammy of having to pay
these guys AND a dollar-for-dollar luxury tax.
Well, because of the bad economy, the NBA is considering doing it again.
next summer possibly dropping by more than $5 million from $69.92
million, NBA commissioner David Stern has spoken to owners about the
possibility of the amnesty rule again surfacing, although any possible
resurrection of that rule likely wouldn't be put on the table until
late in the collective bargaining process.
But it's not a foregone conclusion:
there could be serious debate among the owners about whether they would
want the return of such a rule. There are some owners of teams who
haven't given out as many outlandish contracts that might not want to
help out teams that have. Teams that have been more responsible then
would be at risk of receiving less money back in luxury-tax payments
from the big spenders.
As a strictly business move, I can see
why the NBA would try to do whatever it could to make as many teams as
competitive as possible. But it's the wrong move. And I simply can't
stand the thought of crappy General Managers getting any kind of
Hey… you're the one that sucked and handcuffed your franchise. You
deal with it. It's the NBA's version of survival of the fittest. Hand
out too many bad contracts and you lose your job. End of story. The
more you bail out these guys who can't evaluate talent, the more you
keep their ilk around. No one is learning any lessons from mistakes of
the past. The more you bail teams out like this… the more likely you
are to keep the Chris Wallaces of the world around… and that just
means the next Sam Presti doesn't get his chance.