September 12, 2011
Lost in the apparent momentum of the recent batch of lockout negotiations is the month-old memory of Michael Jordan saying nice things about Andrew Bogut to an Australian newspaper. Nothing wrong with saying nice things about Andrew Bogut(notes), we reckon, as the guy is a heck of a basketball player whose defense sadly remains quite underrated. Jordan, the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, wasn't even tampering as he heaped praise upon the Aussie big man.
But he's an owner, and owners can't talk about players during the lockout. Can't even tweet the guys. And though Jordan's eventual fine apparently won't reach the $1 million limits as rumored earlier this summer, he will be fined by the league. To the tune of $100,000.
Even for M.J., that's a lot. Especially with the Bobcats bleeding cash. ESPN's Chris Broussard first reported the story, and he's aligning Jordan's comments about Bogut not so much with the fact that he was talking up an Aussie to an Australian newspaper, but because Jordan and Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl (who gave Bogut a contract extension that averages eight figures per year a few seasons ago) are the two biggest proponents of an improved NBA revenue-sharing system:
The players' union has pushed the league to expand its revenue-sharing plan, saying a plan similar to that of the NFL and Major League Baseball would answer the financial woes of the clubs losing money. But the league, which claims to have lost $300 million last season, has countered that even vast revenue sharing would not allow it to turn a profit, according to sources.
Tricky, tricky, tricky. The NBA needs to find a way to balance things out, but according to Broussard they're contending that using the same split-pie system as the NFL and MLB won't work in the NBA because the NBA's respective pie isn't big enough.
On one hand, I kind of like the idea of forcing smaller markets to think in smarter, more analytical ways as they put together their teams. The Bucks (to a lesser extent) and Bobcats, on pure basketball terms, have been poorly run in ways that a lack of split revenues had nothing to do with.
On the other hand? Doesn't there have to be some improved way to help teams in basketball-mad but TV revenue-lousy cities like Charlotte and Milwaukee?
If Jordan and Kohl are teaming up, maybe Jordan can get the Senator to pitch in on this $100,000 fine.
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