Luke Walton Offers His Interesting Contract Perspective

Senior Writer
08.29.11 4 Comments

Luke Walton makes matching hat kind of money.

In my constant desire to talk about Kris Humphries’ sham marriage to Kim Kardashian, I sometimes forget that there’s a pretty nasty lockout going on in the NBA. As of right now, NBA Commissioner David Stern and the players union can’t even agree on when to meet. The preseason is supposed to begin in October and the owners and players are roughly $7.8 billion apart. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there will be no NBA season this year.

So why is it that Stern is so open to talking about fault and who is to blame – not that he’s blaming the players, but he’s demanding they make all the sacrifices – but the players aren’t really telling us anything? After all, this is a PR battle and both sides need to be kissing our fan asses to win our favor. Enter: Luke Walton – Los Angeles Lakers bench warmer, Vince Mancini body double, and NBA players’ voice of reason.

Does it bother you that your name comes up in the lockout argument against players that are making too much money?

It obviously bothers me. I haven’t really noticed it because I kind of stay out of the media during the offseason. But obviously it bothers you as a player. You want to feel your worth. Obviously I’m getting paid a salary that was for a much larger role back when we agree upon the deal. I was a playmaker, I was playing 30 minutes a game and I was able to do a lot of things for a team. And I had offers from other teams to do the same thing. … For the most part, fans have been great out here. Then, all of the sudden you bring in Pau Gasol and other players of that caliber and my role kind of gets smaller and smaller. I can still play the game … then all of the sudden my back goes bad on me and mentally I’m frustrated. … The role that I was paid that money to do kind of got taken away in a sense.

(Via Sports Radio Interviews, h/t to Pro Basketball Talk)

On one hand, it’s nice to see another player calling out the owners. The news is dominated by the owner perspective and Stern-A-Vision. When all of the players are heading overseas, it sure looks like they don’t give a crap about playing for the NBA this season. More players with these presumably bad contracts need to step forward and call out their respective owners. Hell, Walton’s contract isn’t even bad. If the season starts on schedule – it won’t, but just humor me – Walton would receive $5.6 million this year. The average salary is $5 million, so Walton is hardly the problem. At least he’s saying something, though.

Where are Gilbert Arenas and Rashard Lewis? Why aren’t they front and center defending their stupid contracts so that their peers have the same chance to rip off owners in the future? Those are the players that need to be driving the spin machine. I know, I’m not holding my breath. I’ll just keep wondering if I’ll be able to watch Turkey’s Besiktas on U-Verse.

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