Blog Entry

Durant wouldn't give up $20 million over CBA

Posted on: October 8, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 5:24 pm
Posted by Ben Golliverkevin-durant-smile

On Thursday, Yahoo Sports detailed the active role played by Boston Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett in the ongoing labor negotiations. Garnett, who is 35 and set to make $21.2 million in 2011-2012, has been urging his fellow players to stand firm in collective bargaining negotiations despite the fact that he stands to lose more money than anyone not named Kobe Bryant if the coming season is delayed or cancelled.

Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant said on Friday he wasn't capable of the same sacrifice that Garnett is prepared to make during a Twitter conversation with Nate Jones, an employee of the agency that represents him, Goodwin Sports Management. 

"Would u give up 20 million for the better of the CBA?" Durant asked Jones. "I wouldn't do it."

Jones rightly pointed out that Garnett isn't necessarily "giving up" the money, but simply putting the money at risk in the name of leverage in the ongoing CBA negotiations. Jones later clarified that Durant "wasn't saying he thinks the players should just accept 50/50," a reference to the owner's current reported down-the-middle proposal for a revenue split. The National Basketball Players Association has been pushing for something closer to a 53 percent share for the players, which is still down from the 57 percent they were paid under the last agreement.

This is a very interesting and honest admission from Durant, but it shouldn't be surprising, even though he is one of the league's brightest stars. His statement isn't evidence that he's a "greedy millionaire" and it doesn't represent disloyalty to his union.

Really, it's evidence that his perspective is shaped by two key factors: the presence of restrictive rookie contracts in the just expired CBA and his age.

Durant, 23 years old and the NBA's scoring champ for the past two seasons, has had his salary set in stone by the NBA's collective bargaining agreement for his entire 4-year career. puts his career earnings at $19.5 million over four years and while he has numerous national endorsement deals, there's a decent shot that after taxes and expenses Durant doesn't have $20 million in the bank. In other words, all Durant is saying is that he wouldn't give up what amounts to his lifetime savings to secure a stronger collective bargaining agreement. That seems to be a fair position.

Garnett, on the other hand, has banked some $270 million in salary over the course of his 16-year NBA career. Six times he was paid more than $20 million per season; another six times he was paid between $16 million and $20 million. Over the past two seasons, Durant has been in the MVP discussion and has been of similar importance to the Thunder as Garnett has been to the Celtics. Durant took home nearly $11 million; Garnett was paid more than $35 milllion.

While $20 million is $20 million, the relative hit that Garnett would take from such a sacrifice is peanuts compared to the impact a similar sacrifice would have on Durant. It's quite possible that in 10 years, with an extra $150 million in contracts in hand, Durant would feel differently than he does today. 
The worst thing that you can say about Durant here is that he's self-interested. That's no crime in the ongoing lockout or anywhere else in our country, a nation built on pursuing self-interest free of restrictions. NBA officials, NBA owners, rich NBA players, average NBA players, below-average NBA players, agents, stadium employees, media and fans have are all self-interested in this labor struggle. 

The bigger issue raised by these comments is where non-stars stand in all of this. Durant, now that he has completed his rookie deal, has a lucrative five-year, guaranteed contract coming his way no matter what. Indeed, he is set to make $13.6 million next season. For players without multi-year contracts and without the skills to ensure large amounts of future income, the temptation to take whatever deal is on the table and get back to work is very real, and increasing by the week.

Garnett has, without question, put his money where his mouth is this week. But his money, frankly, is unimaginable to the average player. It's virtually impossible for Garnett to lead by example here because his earned income, despite public perception, is such an exception, rather than the rule.

Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: December 22, 2011 7:36 pm

Durant wouldn't give up $20 million over CBA

"GAME OVER", you are an absolute moron.  

Since: Jan 20, 2009
Posted on: October 11, 2011 9:49 pm

Durant wouldn't give up $20 million over CBA

While I tend to agree it is a game and professional athletes are generally overpaid (notice I generally), I would disagree with one key point you make. By the time Durant is at the point Kg is at he WILL NOT make the same money if the Owners get what they want. When I said generally, I happen to believe that Durant is a rare player that is worth very penny. He puts butts in the seats and sells merchandise for the owner of the THunder. So while you think it is pretty simple, I would say look a little deeper than what is on the surface and you may not sound so petty when making comments on here.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:42 am

Durant wouldn't give up $20 million over CBA

We have all heard the labor union mantra about sacrafice for the next generation by holding out in the contract talks. The trouble is we usually are not listening to a union composed of members whose average pay per court hour exceeds $200,000! This article spotlights a member who sees reality and not entitlement. He just wants to earn his money. That is very rare in this CBA interchange.

We all want to see the games continue. Today's cancellation shows that the likelihood of any NBA in November or December is equally small. Very very far apart on all the issues seems to address the situation well. The owners want to stop losing money. The players want to be entitled. Reality check. Thiis time the issues are clear for all to see - and they are not pretty. Can't feed your families on that kind of money? Maybe they should switch to a better grovery. $200,000 per hour is way too much - overkill;it will simply kill the league.

Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: October 10, 2011 7:05 pm

Durant wouldn't give up $20 million over CBA

Wow game over...sounds like your the idiot with anger issues.  You attack people on here for giving their opinion.  Just because someone plays professional basketball doesn't make them better than anyone on here.  You know nothing about me or my earning potential.  Maybe you should log off and deal with your anger issues.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: October 10, 2011 10:22 am

Durant wouldn't give up $20 million over CBA

"Hey there writer with the gold pen, let's not make it sound like KD is poverty srticken or anything close."

Just shut up with the whiny "They still make a tion of money so what are they fighting over" crap. If YOU were the very best at your job and you were told by your employer to take a pay cut, you would fight it to.

"This is the main point of all this crap - ALL of these guys ARE or ARE GOING TO BE multi multi multi millionairs no matter what the outcome of the dispute so they really have nothing to loose here except fans, and that's what they are doing, and I'll be the first one."

No you won't. I guarantee that you will be sitting there watching games within one week of the return of the NBA. Peiople that regulary watch the NBA will go back to regularly watching the NBA. People that occasionally watch the NBA will continue in that mode as well. Me? The only regular season games I bother to watch are if there s a good matchup, then I'll watch some playoffs when I have a chance.

The players and owners have the right to get their business part of the sport in order to try to benefit themselves as much as possible. They have earned that right by either being better than everyone else at playing basketball or by being better than everyone else at business to give themselves enough money to buy an NBA team.

The writer makes a VERY valid point by showing that not all of the players are affected the same way by the lockout. The guys that just got drafted are floating by on funny money right now. Players with less than three years in the league are looking at their payments due on the big crazy houses and cars they bought with no income coming in. HOPEFULLY, the were wise with the money, but odds are that some of the idiot kids that were handed millions acted like idiots with it.The writer isn't asking you to feel sorry for them; he is just reporting on an interesting aspect of the situation. If you don't find it intersting, DON'T READ IT OR RESPOND TO IT. 

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: October 10, 2011 9:22 am

Durant wouldn't give up $20 million over CBA

Hey there writer with the gold pen, let's not make it sound like KD is poverty srticken or anything close.  Yeah, he is a multi millionair just like KG is, but not to the extream.  He's made about $20mil in his career, oh the poor kid, how does he survive?  By the time his career is where KG's is right now his money will make KG's look like chump change.  This is the main point of all this crap - ALL of these guys ARE or ARE GOING TO BE multi multi multi millionairs no matter what the outcome of the dispute so they really have nothing to loose here except fans, and that's what they are doing, and I'll be the first one.

Since: Nov 18, 2007
Posted on: October 10, 2011 7:41 am

Durant wouldn't give up $20 million over CBA

I don't blame Durant. I'd want the $$$, too. All sides in this debate need to realize they're not as popular as the NFL and  cancelling the season will seriously weaken the NBA product.

Since: Aug 23, 2010
Posted on: October 10, 2011 2:14 am

Durant wouldn't give up $20 million over CBA

The NBA is a joke.

I hope the lockout causes it to finally collapse.

Since: Dec 9, 2006
Posted on: October 10, 2011 1:30 am

Durant wouldn't give up $20 million over CBA

true bolts...

You're an idiot.  A jealous idiot.  Instead of being so jealous of these NBA players, why don't you log off the internet and do something to better your earning potential.  Maybe you'd be able to pay your bills if you didn't spend so much time being jealous of people better than you are.

College hoops suck, and I never watch them.  I won't lose any sleep either because I view the NBA and all other sports as entertainment.   Nothing more, nothing less.        

Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: October 9, 2011 11:14 pm

Durant wouldn't give up $20 million over CBA

Unfortunately, more and more fans could care less about the NBA and its players.  I, for one, am one of them.  The NBA is not the same as it was when I first starting watching in the early 80's as a young child.  I enjoy watching college basketball so much more than the NBA.  In college hoops, you still have the chance to watch some players play the game because they love it.  Players that know that playing in the NBA is unrealistic but play just as hard if not harder than the ones that are "one and done".  If the lock out never ended, I would not miss a minute of sleep.  The great players will continued to get payed to play over seas and the average player will find out what it means to put in over 40 hours a week just to pay the bills.  The owners would go back to doing whatever made them rich in the first place and put them in the position to buy an NBA franchise.  After a year of being locked out, the players will be begging to the owners to play them to play and except any deal they can get.

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