Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant all made $400,000 for their work in teaming up to play the all-stars of the Philippine Basketball Association, a nice tax-free gift that will help stave off the potential debt-collectors should the current NBA lockout cost them a year's salary. Though the combined millions that were sent the way of the traveling NBA stars no doubt put last weekend's event in the red, the payoff was apparently worth it for all involved.
Of course, this isn't going to do much to make up for the potential 2011-12 lost salary, but it will be interesting to note (now that the news has come out) what the players listed above will do with the salary. For both Rose and Durant, two players who were still working on their rookie contracts last season, that $400k can't be considered chump change.
But for someone like Bryant, who has been maxed out since the month following the end of the NBA's last lockout in 1999, those scrills could go a long way to establishing some goodwill on the players' side. Perhaps as an aid to some younger players. Possibly a fund for those who work at the NBA that lost their jobs last month. Maybe he can just go up and down to the various unfilled parking lots in Los Angeles this fall, and just hand out $50 bills.
Just something to chomp on. Here's Sam Amick's initial report, from SI.com:
Star-studded exhibition games like the two taking place in the Philippines this weekend are proving to be quite profitable as well, with one source with knowledge of the deals saying the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Chicago's Derrick Rose are being paid more than $400,000 apiece for their weekend of work (reminder: tax-free). Worthwhile ventures like these are a less-explosive strategy on the labor front, though there is -- as reported by Yahoo! Sports on Saturday -- an impatient contingent of agents who is pushing for a more aggressive approach that involves the decertification of the union and subsequent antitrust lawsuits.
Don't let this news take you over as some sort of greedy run. The stars spiraled their way toward Manila to play basketball without any sort of insurance, and though the pay isn't commensurate with the services provided, this was still a well-earned engagement.
Also, this entire ordeal is ridiculous and both the NBA and its players should be ashamed that it's going to take until August to just re-engage discussions about how to split these record-setting and ever-increasing revenues. And it should be noted that the car parkers and ticket takers who will be out of work this fall will use a word or phrase that runs much stronger than "ridiculous."