At $5 million a year, put me on the NBA ‘plantation’ (video)

Comparing NBA players (average salary in 2011: $5.15 million) to “boys” on a “modern-day plantation” is ludicrous on its face. But doesn’t Bryant Gumbel, who did just that during a segment on HBO’s “Real Sports” this week, sound particularly outlandish saying so during the days of Occupy Wall Street and 9 percent unemployment?

A couple of NFL players (average salary in 2011: a paltry $1.9 million) tried to make a similar case during this summer’s lockout. It was just as out of touch then as it is now.

Note to Gumbel and professional athletes: If there really is a “99 percent,” y’all aren’t part of it.

(And a note to everyone else: Given the topic, let me go ahead and warn against inflammatory language. You can make your point without it.)

– By Kyle Wingfield

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84 comments Add your comment

Logical Dude

October 19th, 2011
3:36 pm

My question is: Why can’t they just play under the former agreement until they hash out the new one? Wasn’t that last agreement “good enough”?

Guess Not!

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

October 19th, 2011
3:40 pm

Bryant Gumbel has been a race shill since the day he was born.

thewindwhistler

October 19th, 2011
4:02 pm

I would not pay those guys $5 million dollars. I would give them $100.00 a game plus expenses. I mean, really, just because a guy is 7′ tall does not cut it. I make it a “golden rule” I do not watch any sport where the players make more than I do. That pretty well limits what I watch to high school and some college stuff, Iam not all that sure that they are not making more than I am.

Professional sports salaries, what do they do with it? Build a big house with an indoor pool and gym, drive a Bentley and strut around all the cocktali lounges.

There has to be a moral to this story, but i don’t know what it is.

thewindwhistler

October 19th, 2011
4:03 pm

I do not know why my comments are not appreciated?

beachwriter

October 19th, 2011
4:07 pm

I have NO patience for adults who PLAY GAMES for a living complaining about their 7-figure salaries, and I have yet to understand why these pampered babies need a freakin’ union.

carlosgvv

October 19th, 2011
4:07 pm

Bryant Gumbel, like so many prominent “African-Americans”, shows how he really feels about us white folks when something provokes him. I suspect Gumbel’s racist attitude is shared by most of these “African-Americans”.

ByteMe

October 19th, 2011
4:11 pm

Logical: the last agreement was set up in a way that the majority of NBA teams lose money. The NBA teams are trying to fix that on the backs of the players… instead of doing what they should have done a long time ago and killed off some of the smaller-market teams. Fewer teams means a higher density of better players and more higher quality games to watch.

But the “big 3″ in Miami will still choke.

And Bryant? He’s doing what Rush does on a daily basis. Creating fake media sh&t storms.

Kyle Wingfield

October 19th, 2011
4:12 pm

windwhistler: There was a disallowed word within one of the words you used…shouldn’t be too hard to figure out which one I mean. In any case, I’ve pushed it through.

Marie

October 19th, 2011
4:18 pm

Bryant Gumbel left his black wife for a younger white woman he was palling around when he was with NBC. In addition, he made some dumb comment about Ebony magazine being geared toward “the hood” and did not feature hard hitting stories which targeted the black community. And I love the smack down the editor of Ebony shot back him, “We don’t drive by black America we live in black America.” Well every since these two episodes in his arrogant life, BG has been trying to earn a little street cred in the black community.

A few years back he insulted the US athletes who participate in the Winter Olympics by saying something to the effect that no one cares about the WO because there are no black atheletes and the real athletes participate in the summer Olympics. The man is crude, smug, arrogant, and just a general douche bag that sucks up the air in every room he enters.

The NBA and its players are involved in contract negotiations involving how to split revenues. The last time I read/heard the owners want to keep about 53% and the players will get the remaining 47%. The NBA players also currently have guaranteed salaries which means they receive their full contract whether they play all 82 games or not. I can see if this jerk were making this argument for Joe Six Pack who is not entitled to share in any profits from his employer; let alone get full pay while he is unable to work for the year. Last time I checked I had to purchase insurance (long term or short term) to take care of me in case I was unable to work. Yeah Kyle, I’m with you I would love to be a NBA player working as a modern day slave for the massah.

NOTE: We can also now add slave owner to Michael Jordan’s impressive resume since he is a majority owner of a NBA team. Sellout — black man owning black slaves!!!

I can't remember..

October 19th, 2011
4:22 pm

You mean Gumbey is on tv. I can’t remember when he was relevant. Guess it was back when he was on the Yesterday show.

ByteMe

October 19th, 2011
4:22 pm

The NBA players also currently have guaranteed salaries which means they receive their full contract whether they play all 82 games or not.

Actually, it means they get paid big bucks even if their productivity declines and the team wants to cut them. Which leaves a team with a bad player out of luck until that contract expires or another team decides to pick up the contract as part of a salary cap move.

Baseball players also have guaranteed contracts, which is why we were stuck with Kawakami until his contract blessfully expired after this past season. The difference is that baseball doesn’t have a hard salary cap like basketball, just a “luxury tax”.

Wondering

October 19th, 2011
4:28 pm

I wonder how many really care if the NBA ever plays again and how big a loss to society that would be. Not many and not much.

JDW

October 19th, 2011
4:31 pm

Frankly I hope the NBA never plays another game. As for Bryant…its not hard to figure out which brother was the smart one in his house.

Marie

October 19th, 2011
4:39 pm

@wondering – Obama cares that’s who cares. Did you not read or hear that he said he is heartbroken that the NBA season will not be starting on time this year? Your insensitivity to our dear leader is appalling and you really should be ashame of yourself!!!

Jay Dubu

October 19th, 2011
4:43 pm

@Logical Dude

The Owners wanted out of that deal, and instituted the lockout as soon as they had the chance to do so under current deal.

There’s enough money for everyone to get a fair share. The problem is, that everyone wants more than a fair share.

The owners, while they provide the financial backing for the league to carry on business, deserve to profit from their monetary layout, and the players deserve to profit from the labor. They just have to agree on a deal that both sides can live with.

It appears that the players had a really sweet deal in the last agreement.

Owners really want a deal to protect them from their all stupidity. They want to have safegaurds in place that prevent them from signing Eddie Curry type deals.

Dumb and Dumber

October 19th, 2011
4:54 pm

You’ll never make it in the NBA Kyle as you can only dribble and shoot with your right hand. You’d be too easy to defend against.

getalife

October 19th, 2011
4:58 pm

You got that right Kyle.

How much money are they wasting arguing over who gets what?

They act like our corrupt congress.

Jay Dubu

October 19th, 2011
4:59 pm

Professional athelets are entertainers, and are paid as such. Does anyone begrudge Brad Pitt, or any of the other Hollywooders for the millions they they receive in compensation?

When concert goers drop that $125 for a ticket to see whatever musical act that they fancy, does anyone complain?

Out of 300+ million people in the United States, there are ~ 400 NBA Players. Looking at those numbers, it must require a very special skill set to be one of the ~400. It’s a matter of supply and demand. If you have the skill set, you’re in demand.

I think becuse a large number of us can get on a court and play the game, we devalue the skills required to play it at the NBA level. The same goes for other sports as well.

Charl Schwartzel pocketed a $1.44 million paycheck by winning the 2011 Masters for playing Golf for a week!!!!! Did anyone write a blog and complain about that. The Masters purse totaled $8 million.

We have to look at professional sports for what it is…entertainment, for which people will spend a lot of money to partake of.

Jay Dubu

October 19th, 2011
5:14 pm

@Wondering

The NBA had $3.817 billion in 2010-11 for Basketball Related Income (BRI).

Somebody, somewhere cares.

Kyle Wingfield

October 19th, 2011
5:20 pm

Jay Dubu: I don’t begrudge the players their money. Nor the owners, for that matter. What I find objectionable is this notion that they’re modern-day slaves — the term NFL players used during their own lockout, and tantamount to what Gumbel was saying.

Gm

October 19th, 2011
5:27 pm

When will these black athletes learn that they are nothing but entertainment for white America, look at places like Wv, Tn, Al, Ga, they have black players on their basketball, football teams, poor President Obama could not even come to these states to campaign.
Wake up black athlete, and form your own league, stop dancing and high five and being these people source of entertainment, thats all they see you as, they dont respect your mind or your ability to lead other then running a foot ball and shoting a basketball.
No this is not racism, this is pro knowledge.

Jeff

October 19th, 2011
5:32 pm

Gumbel chooses his words for effect, not as a reflection of what is really in his head. It’s part of the media machine. Kyle Wingfield then hops into the driver seat of the machine and takes us all for a hayride.

LeVetrius

October 19th, 2011
5:39 pm

One wonders whether Mr. Gumbel would consider him a ‘plantation overseer’ if Stern was a black guy. Somehow I doubt it.

I love basketball, but it wouldn’t bother me if the NBA season was canceled. These overpaid brats need a lesson in humility.

Question Man

October 19th, 2011
5:56 pm

Wasn’t Gumbel’s point how Stern is handling himself, not what the players are making?

BW

October 19th, 2011
5:59 pm

Kyle

Let’s not pretend these athletes are running Fortune 500’s if they aren’t playing. It’s a hit or miss proposition for them and their career options. Their income is irrevelant in the scope of the argument as that is how much the market pays them. End of the day….Should Gumbel have said that?…probably not.

saywhat?

October 19th, 2011
6:04 pm

Is it still wealth envy if the wealth belongs to black people?

tsg

October 19th, 2011
6:10 pm

Jay Dybu…i really appreciate your comments.
When emotions are taken out of it….it all comes down to business. To my understanding The past NBA CBA pays the players 57% of the nearly 4 billion BRI….. the players have offered to reduce their % to 53%. The owners are holding out for a 50/50 split.
The part that makes negotiations difficult is the owners are making claims of loss that is not being backed up properly with facts. They have not opened their books to determine loss they have only stated loss.. The players assoc isn’t readily buying that…….there are accepted accounting principles being ignored…. I have no alligence to B. Gumbel but is seems he is saying the NBA comissioner is ok with the owners stated loss and is trying to convenience the players so and employing bullying tatics such as threatening to cancel games and such. Before we can measure weather the players are greedy 5 mil…we need to know what the owners take home. That we dont know and until that fact is known we cannot determine what is fair.
if it was known that for every 5 mil the players earn the owners earn 30 mil….(and is holding out for more)……. . we could certainly determine whom the greedy side is.

Kyle Wingfield

October 19th, 2011
6:12 pm

Question Man: His point was that Stern treats them like slaves. My point was that people who make an average of $5 million cannot in any reasonable way be compared to slaves.

Kyle Wingfield

October 19th, 2011
6:14 pm

BW: See my 5:20. And then my 6:12 — of course their salary is relevant to the argument, if the argument is that they’re being treated like slaves.

Kyle Wingfield

October 19th, 2011
6:14 pm

I dunno, saywhat, ask the “tax the rich” crowd. As I said earlier, I don’t begrudge their salaries, just Gumbel’s characterization.

saywhat?

October 19th, 2011
6:16 pm

At what income level can people reasonably be compared to slaves then?

BW

October 19th, 2011
6:21 pm

Kyle

As Hermain Cain would say…we have a difference of opinion regarding collective bargining…it’s not literal slavery if the players are forced to play for 5% or 50% of basketball related income vs the 57% they are currently getting…but one could argue that these players would be forced to play if that number was 5%…as I said before their career options are sports or McDonalds in most cases.

Kyle Wingfield

October 19th, 2011
6:30 pm

BW: I think your definition of “forced” and the one Gumbel implies are wildly different. What you mean is that it would still be their best option, and in some cases that might be true. (Perhaps not for the guys with Duke degrees.) What he means is something altogether different.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Thee Magnificent!!! mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

October 19th, 2011
6:44 pm

My neighbor’s dog growls at people walking by minding their own business, eats it’s own feces, has been hosed by the skunks several times, has a giant gash on it’s forehead from one of the nearby kitty cats and barks incessantly into the wee hours of the morning at all of the conjoured up fake demons in it’s empty, simple little mind.

The neighbor said he’d run it off if his stupid kids didn’t love it so much.

I asked what it’s name was, he said “Barak Obama.”

Don't Tread

October 19th, 2011
6:57 pm

These people have complete disregard for the law when they’re not on the court. I could care less if they ever played another game and do not watch or go to the games for that very reason.

Rubes never get it

October 19th, 2011
7:00 pm

Why Kyle, are you suggesting class warfare? The are paid what the Free Market indicates and they obviously earn every penny or the free Market would be wrong.

ClemsonNeil

October 19th, 2011
7:02 pm

I didn’t know slave were signing multi-million dollar contracts. Hmmmmm… I bet a slave like Kunta Kinte had to have a $100 million contract.

Personally, given how much money players generate for the league, they deserve every penny they can get. Just like in the real world. Unfortunately we as individuals don’t generate tens of hundreds of millions of dollars for our employer. We’re paid basically what we’re worth to our employer. You don’t like your salary… find a new employer.

Meaning that if a player like Lebron James can make the Miami Heat tens of millions of dollars and the NBA hundreds of millions of dollars and can make Nike hundreds of millions of dollars, he deserves a $100+ million contract and the millions he gets in endorsement.

Wingfield is right… this isn’t about the salaries, it about Gumbel’s poor choice in comparing it to slavery. Not on is it methaphorically incorrect, but it’s feeds into the mindset of a group of black people who use statements like this as an excuse for their lack of success. And the statement, quite frankly makes Gumbel look pathetic.

Moses

October 19th, 2011
7:08 pm

Anyone who would watch or listen to Gumbel say anything about anything is in need of a life. Gumbel has been irrelevant for longer than he’s been on TV. He is living proof that it takes neither talent nor intelligence to keep a job on TV.

tsg

October 19th, 2011
7:16 pm

.Cosidering The BRI of 4 billion…it is possible the NBA owners make 125 million annually on average.. The average players wages is 5 million. …… 4% may indeed be slave wages

@@

October 19th, 2011
7:30 pm

Bryant Gumbel’s still alive!!??!! I thought he was dead.

Has he had a facelift?

Only thing I remember about Gumbel is he always had some sort of grievance against something or somebody. An arrogant sort too.

Sorry, not familiar with sports stuff.

Rafe Hollister

October 19th, 2011
7:31 pm

The NBA is about as exciting as professional wrestling, both seem to have predetermined outcomes. Apparently people watch this stuff, so let them have at it, whatever you can demand and get, go for it.

Streetracer

October 19th, 2011
7:35 pm

tsg : I don’t know what owners make, don’t know the actual share that they get out of this total. But they are paying for training facilities, travel expenses, etc. According to a guy I youst to hang out with some (minor league baseball), the Owner even payed the damages when a player got drunk and tore up a hotel room. Point is that Owners have lots of expenses, that the players don’t.

@@

October 19th, 2011
7:44 pm

Watching basketball always reminded me of bird flocks flying to and fro. They all fly one way, then quickly turn and go the opposite direction. Instead of chirping, ya’ got those squeakin’ basketball shoes.

squeak…..squeak..squeak.squeak.squeak

A dumb game…one the president loves to play. To each his own.

West Indian Charlie

October 19th, 2011
7:48 pm

Billionares and Millionares fighting over money. I will take the salary of one of these over paid athletes any day. Most of them end up broke even before their playing days are over, too much bling,fancy cars, bad investments not to mention the gold diggers women type. That being said- poor choice of words Mr. Gumbel.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

October 19th, 2011
8:22 pm

Idiot racist Gumbel must have been thinking that he wasn’t getting enough attention.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Thee Magnificent!!! mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

October 19th, 2011
8:45 pm

So this is what Gumbel does when he isn’t whining and moaning at the Olympics.

Atlanta mom

October 19th, 2011
9:03 pm

I can’t believe it. I agree with Kyle. Maybe something has frozen over.
What I want to know it: where can I sign up to work on this here plantation?

BOB FROM ACCOUNT TEMPS

October 19th, 2011
9:43 pm

THE “BOYS”, CAN LEAVE STERNS’ PLANTATION ANY TIME THEY WANT AND GO TO EUROPE AND PLAY FOR NEW MASTERS.

KL Jacket

October 19th, 2011
9:43 pm

Gumble is an idiot…These athletes make entirely too much money to be pulling the race card and crying poverty… reminds me of Latrell Sprewell’s “I got to feed my family” comment… I get that NBA players are the actual talent that people come to see, but they must be reminded that the NBA organzation is what gives them the privilage to be paid as professional athletes. Personally I do not care if all the NBA all-stars leave and play in Europe. The shelf life for an NBA athlete is 5-10yrs. I will happly wait for the next crop of talent to emerge. Stand firm David Stern and Owners…and Bryant Gumble is still an idiot.

juddist

October 19th, 2011
10:09 pm

I wished I could get the money you are paid for being such a terrible writer. Could you please tell us how much money the owners are making off the players? I bet you can’t because they will not open their books. No one ever complains about how much money an actor makes even though their movies constantly bombs, seen Jennifer Anniston, Tom Cruise, etc. Oh, I guess we can complain about these guys because the majority are black. Get a life man, if you can play the game don’t hate the players everyone gets paid the most for their talents and trust me the owners would not be paying the players that much money if they were not making a profit. Sorry Wingfield that you were born an short no talent white man.