The Dish

Thompson’s Loyalty Lies…….

One must ask him/herself…what’s the price that one would pay to compete for/win an NBA Championship?  Would it be $94 million?  How does $80 million sound?  Or better yet, lets shoot for $53 million.  The amounts above have been listed for months as possibilities for restricted free agent Tristan Thompson as he and the Cleveland Cavaliers dance the intricate dance of contract negotiations.  Is it hard to put a value on Thompson’s worth after he spent last season averaging 8.5 points and 8 rebound per game? If the numbers are underwhelming, one may then feel the same as the Cavaliers organization who haven’t budged on their offer of $80 million over 5 years.

Reportedly Thompson had asked for $94 million over 5 years for the duration of the off-season but recently lowered his asking price to $53 million for 3 years.  With training camp only days away a resolution to this must come soon.  With that said there is a nuclear option that may play perfectly in the hands of Thompson and his handlers.

Rich-Paul-Tristan

That nuclear option is Thompson signing a one year qualifying offer for $6.8 million and becoming an unrestricted free agent during the summer of 2016.  With the chess pieces in place Thompson will then be steered towards his hometown Toronto Raptors by his agent Rich Paul.  Agents, such as Paul, usually earn at most 4% of their client’s contract however they earn substantially more from a client’s marketing income (endorsements) which can reach levels between (20-25%).  Just this past off-season Paul was instrumental in luring Corey Joseph away from the San Antonio Spurs to the Raptors.  Who is serving what master?  Is the best interest of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the minds of Thompson and Paul or is it the best interest of Paul and Thompson?

Caught in the middle of this standoff is LeBron James who is ironically also represented by Paul and a possible NBA Championship.  For the time being it’s been indirectly implied that James, despite his ties to Thompson and Paul, will remain neutral and not demand that Cavaliers pay Thompson.  What’s the price that one would pay for an NBA Championship; only time will tell.

Daddy Issues 

The recent news of the impending paternity issue between Cleveland Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving and an ex flame caused me to pause, reflect and then eventually sigh.  Thoughts of Dwyane Wade’s “break baby”, Paul George’s young one with a former stripper and Dwight Howard’s almost double-digit child count flooded ones mind.  It’s a subject matter that deserves a degree of caution but the truth has to be told.  Is a stereotype of the worst kind being fed or is it that a certain type of young man with endless options is cursed by having a bit of slippage.

It may be hard to believe for some but there was a time when this new media didn’t exist, no social media, no portable device in every home. It was a time where print was still king and television continued the conversation.  If the sports world at the time had a bible, it was Sports Illustrated and it was SI which dropped a then bombshell on the NBA and the world of sports in general.  One must remember that times were different then but some things remain the same.

1998si0504

The issue, which dropped in 1998, featured the plight of a young woman who had a child out of wed lock with Larry Johnson who at the time was a member of the New York Knicks.  Despite Johnson being the brunt of the subject manner, many NBA stars and legends were named throughout the course of the article.

According to documents obtained by SI, Johnson is supporting
five children by four women, including the two children he has
with his wife. But his penchant for unplanned fatherhood hardly
makes him unique. Consider this NBA All-Paternity team of
players who have had children out of wedlock and have
subsequently been the subject of paternity-related lawsuits:
Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Juwan Howard, Shawn Kemp, Jason Kidd,
Stephon Marbury, Hakeem Olajuwon, Gary Payton, Scottie Pippen
and Isiah Thomas. Many other NBA players who have never been the
subject of litigation are also supporting out-of-wedlock
children, including Kenny Anderson, Allen Iverson and Latrell
Sprewell, who had three children by three women before he turned
21.

Although there have been no studies on athletes and their
out-of-wedlock kids, those who are familiar with the issue say
the numbers are staggering. “I’d say that there might be more
kids out of wedlock than there are players in the NBA,”
estimates one of the league’s top agents, who says he spends
more time dealing with paternity claims than he does negotiating
contracts.

Len Elmore, an ESPN broadcaster and former NBA player, worked as
an agent but says he quit in part because of a “lack of
responsibility” among his clients. “For numbers, I would guess
that one [out-of-wedlock child] for every player is a good
ballpark figure,” says Elmore. “For every player with none,
there’s a guy with two or three.”

Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it and this vicious cycle must be broken.  No one party is more at fault than the other but wise, educated choices must be made when it comes to “fun” with potential partners.  A truth is that professional athletes have their pick of the litter but there are times when more attention should be paid in a world that is full with smiling faces and hidden agendas.

 

 

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