NBA Rule #27 â€" You donâ€™t always get what you pay for in this league. - by Master Po
Now that the dust (mud, slime, etcâ€¦) has settled on this miserable season, and the barely audible melancholy chants of â€œnext seasonâ€ have already begun, I want to take a somewhat quirky look at what Wyc and Co. paid for this last season. Did they get their moneyâ€™s worth (of course not). Value is the operative word here. Where is the value and who brought it? I wanted to start out in this first segment with a few players that easily validate the little known NBA Rule #27.Â (read more after the jump)
Yes, there is some math involved in my little venture down this less than scenic road of the wasted money highway. Be patient and gentle with me.Â I know there is nothing scientific, or even slightly acceptable in elite NBA analytical circles about the mathematical diatribe I am unfurling for you. Please remember what Einstein once said: â€œNot everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.â€
Well I am counting my own way today baby!!! So please donâ€™t get â€œup in my grillâ€ by saying â€œyour calculations are flawedâ€. The season was flawed, so let my perspective be flawed as well.
I began thinking about this subject when I saw an article in the USA Today a few weeks ago about salaries in the NBA. The USA Today you ask???? As you can tell, my finely tuned intellect, and my weird attraction to pretty little colored charts, leads me to some very in-depth scientific journals about basketball like the USA Today.
I am continually floored by the amount of money changing hands in the NBA (envious would perhaps be a better word than floored). I have always been curious about paydays in the NBA. Is it once a month? Do they get a payroll stub? Does Theo Ratliff stop by Wycâ€™s office every two weeks to pick up his hard earned pay while he tells Wyc â€œman my back really hurtsâ€? Can you say â€œDirect Depositâ€? Does Ryan Gomes get his check and quickly think â€œlordy this really sucks, I need a new agentâ€
Ok, enough of my deeply probing questions about payday, letâ€™s look at some facts:
THE CELTICS AS A TEAM
The Celtics payroll for the 2006-2007 season was slightly over $62 million. This includes some money for Luke Jackson (why I donâ€™t know), Brian Grant and the final Gin Baker payment of $5 million and some change (cheers Vinnie you @%#*). $62 million and more than a few empty seats in the Garden makes for a couple of â€œhot seatsâ€ in the front office I suspect â€" as well they should.
Hmmmmâ€¦ letâ€™s see now, at 24 wins, that is approximately $2.61 million per victory. Can you imagine Wyc stopping by the locker room a few minutes before game time and saying â€œCome on boys we need a few more â€œWâ€™sâ€ to get this thing below $2 million per victoryâ€.
The Knicks on the other hand, won 33 games, and had a total salary of slightly over 117 million for the 2006-07 season. Holy bovine fodder! This filthy large wad of cash equated to 33 victories, or nine more â€œWâ€™sâ€ than the Câ€™s (and no playoff either). Just think, for an additional $65 million in payroll you too can win nine more times in a season! Hahahahaâ€¦.. Nice work Mr. Isiah â€œGMâ€ Thomas. You just made me feel a bit better for a brief moment â€" very brief. I think Isiah might want to consider one of those Geico caveman commercials as a second career.
The Golden State Warriors have a payroll of only three million more than the Celtics and that bought them 42 wins (approximately $1.5 million per win) and they just convincingly knocked off the Mavs to move into the second round. Now that is value for your money Mr. Wyc G-Money.! Sometimes you get more than what you pay for â€" more on that in future rants.
Player # 1 Value Assessment - THEO RATLIFF
Letâ€™s start with the most obvious. Theoâ€™s salary was $11,666,666 this season. Those â€œsixesâ€ all in a row should have been a sign that it was not going to be a good season for the Celtics with this contract. I mean seriously, couldnâ€™t we have least added on a few more dollars to get rid of the 666 in a row times 2?
Of course Theo never produced anything this year - except a big paycheck. The stat sheet shows him playing 44 minutes. When? I missed that I guess. He was supposed to be our shot blocker, our intimidator, our our â€¦â€¦.something.
His total season production: 1 block for $11 million, and some evil â€œ666â€™sâ€ on the paycheck. Yeah, yeah, I know â€" the expiring contract thing after next season is huge. Ok, Ok, whatever, but 1 block for $11.666 million? Pay me that money and I could figure out a way to get 2 blocks and double the value for the Câ€™s. I would also immediately â€œexpireâ€ after 44 minutes so they would not have to wait until next season to get rid of me (just roll me off the court) â€" now thatâ€™s value!
Player # 2 Value Assessment - M. OLOWOKANDI
A former #1 pick playing for a one year deal. How sad. His salary was $1,065,918. As a quick side note, how do you come up with the extra $918 on a one year deal? Was that for the dreadlock haircut?
Anyway, Kandi Man played in only 24 games and 234 minutes as he was â€œhurtâ€. Hurt? Your career is hanging by one small dreadlock and you are hurt most of the season? He needs to talk with Perkins, Al Jeff and Paul Pierce about pain and playing through it.
He is listed as a center, and one would expect him to primarily get rebounds, block shots and maybe score a few points. He grabbed 48 rebounds in 24 games, 8 blocks and scored 40 points. I will call that a total of 96 â€œunitsâ€ (Itâ€™s my article and thatâ€™s what I am calling it). That is $11,103 per unit produced.
Is that good value? Kelvin Cato of the Knicks is listed as a Center. He came in the league about the same time as Kandi, and is about the same height. He played in 18 games this season and was paid $774,551. He grabbed 31 rebounds, 10 blocks and 22 points. That would be 63 units. My math shows this to be $12,294 per unit produced.
Thank you again Coach/GM Thomas as I feel slightly better. Kandi Man is the clear winner here in the contest for Big Men going nowhere fast.
This comparison obviously proves nothing really, but I fully expected Kandi to play more than 24 games. I guess a million doesnâ€™t buy what it used to. When you have been overpaid already for years, where is the motivation to exceed those already low expectations? Kandi I have seen enough â€" no mas. Go grow your hair back out somewhere else.
Player # 3 Value Assessment â€" BRIAN SCALABRINE
I have to be very careful in this assessment. I only have to think about this for about ten seconds and I become borderline PO-stal. I am not so sure why Veal Scalabrine gets too me so much. I really showed him no mercy this year on this blog. So who is the real Veal? Is this all there is? What is Veal for that matter? Wikipedia had this to say about Veal:Â
â€¢Â Formula-Fed (or "milk-fed") veal, from calves that are raised in confinement on a solely liquid diet.
After watching this guy play in 54 games and start in 17 of those, I felt like I was being raised in Celtic confinement hell and being force fed a poison green liquid kool-aid Exlax diet. Please put me back on solid food Wyc.
The following stats I think validate two things. First, no real â€œvalueâ€ was provided on the court by Mr Scalabrine. Secondly, no matter what â€œveteran presenceâ€ he brought, or how well â€œhe knew the offenseâ€ (there wasnâ€™t any really was there?) his stats donâ€™t lie â€" he sucks like a pig-faced vacuum trash can at Disneyland.
- Scali had the lowest FG % of any Celtic player except for Telfair and Ray Allen. Their value will be detailed later on, but trust me Scali didnâ€™t jump over a high bar to beat these two clankers.
- Scali (at 6â€™ 9â€ or 10â€) grabbed a whopping 105 rebounds in 1027 minutes of play or almost 86 quarters of play! Think about that for a minute. That is barely one rebound a quarter and you are the Power Forward. The often injured Wally Zoolander Szczerbiak grabbed only 7 fewer rebounds than Scali and he only played in 32 games (22 few games than Scali). Wally canâ€™t even jump, has two bad ankles, and is at least two inches shorter. Note to Scali â€" blocking out 15 feet from the basket and moving away from the ball is NOT rebounding.
- Rebounds per 48 minutes â€" Scali finished 196 out of 204 in the entire league for Forwards. Limbo Scali â€" How Low Can you Go?
Letâ€™s go back to the Knicks once again for a quick comparison. David Lee played in 58 games this season compared to Scaliâ€™s 54. They are both 6â€™9â€. He played 1729 minutes or 58 more quarters than Scali. 1729 divided by 1027 = 68 % more minutes than Scali. He produced 602 rebounds, or 473 % more rebounds than Scali. He shot the 60% from the field (he wasnâ€™t hanging out at the three point line throwing up bricks like the milk-fed Veal).
David Leeâ€™s pay? In 2007 Lee is paid roughly $990,000 vs. $2.79 million for our very own wonder boy. Just in case you are still counting, $2.79 million divided by 105 rebounds is approximately $26,571 per rebound for Scali. For David Lee, $990,000 didvided by 602 rebounds is about $1,644 per rebound. Quite a difference in Value for a lot less money I would say. Whereâ€™s the beef or Veal?
Go look at the stats of Matt Bonner (who had his worst year this season) and he still beat Scali hands down, and he is cheaper to boot at $2 Million a year. To all of you who say Scali is relatively cheap at $3 Million a year, I woud have to ask - Really? Not to me.
Wyc cut your losses and buy out the baby calf. Cull this cow from our herd. The price of this Veal is too high priced, too tough to chew on any longer, and I simply canâ€™t be force fed any more of it.
Well kids, that is enough for now. If Jeff will let me do Segment 2, I plan to explore the true â€œvalueâ€ of Zoolander, Perkules and some guy named Powe (and he can rebound).