At least for one NBA player, it really wasn't about the money.
It's Always About the Money
As an NBA fan I have become cynical every time I hear players say "it's not about the money, it's about respect."
With NBA players it's always about the money. Always.
And I don't blame this for this, either. They have one shot to earn tremendous sums of money, and I tip my cap to them for getting every penny they can in the open market. Most of us would make the same decisions with our careers.
But Antawn Jamison proved to be the rare exception.
For a man who has earned $140 million in salary, this is chump change. Jamison is basically working for his version of minimum wage for the chance to win a title with the Lakers.
Jamison Had Value on the Open Market
At 36-years-old, Antawn Jamison was not going to get a max contract, obviously. But he also could have done much better than one-year, $1.4 million.
Consider this: Over the last two seasons (2011 & 2012) only 18 players matched Antawn Jamison's totals in points (2,128), rebounds (783), and assists (224). Many of the other guys on the list are All-Stars.
So how much more could Antawn Jamison have earned if it was all about the money?
In reality, who knows? But a two-year deal totaling $6-$9 million is not out of the question for a player with his productivity.
Following Karl Malone's Footsteps
As a Lakers fan I have seen this happen before. As I have previously written, Karl Malone signed a veteran's minimum $1.5 million deal with the Lakers in 2004.
In many ways the 2013 Lakers team remind me of the 2004 team which signed Malone and Gary Payton to chase another title for Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, and Phil Jackson. Jamison is this year's Malone. Steve Nash is the 2012 version of Gary Payton.
All Lakers fans remember what happened in 2004 - Malone got hurt, Payton struggled, and the Lakers lost to the Detroit Pistons 4-1 in the NBA Finals.
As a Lakers fan I hope 2013 turns out differently than 2004 and Antawn Jamison is rewarded for putting winning over a paycheck.
At least with one player, it finally wasn't about the money.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Lakers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check these out articles: