If the NBA season was to start on time, there would only be one player that makes more than the $22 million Rashard Lewis is slated for this year: Kobe Bryant. And while Lewis is a two-time NBA All-Star, he doesn’t exactly have the five championship rings and 13 All-Star nods that the Black Mamba does. But when it comes to the lockout, Lewis is a company man. He believes he shouldn’t be punished for the six-year, $118 million contract he signed with Orlando five years ago – and neither do we. That’s why it’s crazy to hear that he is willing to lose it all in order to make sure players get taken care of now and in the future.
“I’m willing to sacrifice my salary to get a fair deal,” Lewis told Michael Lee of The Washington Post. “It’s only fair.”
We’ve heard this before. Kobe Bryant said that he (along with other unnamed players) is prepared to offer loans to guys who may need help during the lockout. And while this is coming from a guy who has almost banked $200 million in salary for his career – $196,190,615 to be exact – it still illustrates the same point we keep hearing: Without a good deal now, players will lose out in the long run. It’s easy to have buyer’s remorse on the owner’s end, but it’s wrong to place blame on guys like Lewis.
“Talk to the owner. He gave me the deal,” says Lewis. “When it comes to contracts, the players aren’t sitting there negotiating that contract. I’m sitting at home and my agent calls me, saying, ‘I got a max on the table.’ I’m not going to sit there and say, ‘Naw, that’s too much. Go out there and negotiate $20 or $30 [million] less.'”
What do you think?
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