The players and the public are too smart to fall for this public-relations stunt.
What might be more impressive is if Stern, the longest-tenured commissioner in all of professional sports, gave back some of his past salary everyday the lockout lasts. Stern and the owners seem all for asking the players to give back some of their earnings.
The NBA owners are looking to cut some of their costs that led them to lose a combined $300 million this past season. Why not start with the commish? According to reports, Stern makes $15 million in base pay ($500,000 from each team) and bonuses push that figure up to $23 million. Let’s be real, that is about $21 million more than he deserves.
Stern out-earns most of the talent on the basketball floor and there is something wrong with that. Nobody sells the NBA product better than its players. Stern couldn’t be as successful selling his league if he didn’t have a great product to present.
The idea of Stern not taking a salary during the lockout is only symbolic. It’s not as if he won’t be able to pay his mortgage if his paycheck doesn’t come in the mail soon. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell only took $1, so Stern has to one-up him by taking no pay.
What Stern should be more focused on right now is to get the current labor strife in order and to make sure a deal is secured so that no games are missed this upcoming season.
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