Marc Stein reported this morning that a potential 50-game season would reduce player salaries “significantly” and the players are starting to fight back. Lakers forward Jared Dudley has been vocal on Twitter about his desire to extend the season to 72-games. This would allow players to receive full-pay for the 20-21 season. Who wouldn’t want that?
Can’t play 50 games .. Thats a hard no for the players! Has to be a min of 72.. the real question is what change in a week? The league kept saying January January.. Everybody knew how big Christmas was and Olympics being late July months ago.. TV just mentioned it now?? https://t.co/JSQdY3sTXz— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) October 30, 2020
With “physicians” like Dr. Fauci in favor of mask mandates across the United States, there’s no telling when the NBA will put fans in the stands. We know the science says that COVID has a 98% recovery rate, but that didn’t stop the NBA from disallowing fans this season. So why should fans expect NBA commissioner Adam Silver to suddenly react to science when he’s already shown he’ll deny the data? Fans and NBA players both have no idea what it’s going to take to feel comfortable that fan revenue will be a part of the 20-21 season. That’s why a 50-game season would never come included with full pay. Can’t promise a full salary when fans may or may not be there. After all, fan attendance are the reason owners pay these guys the big bucks anyway.
Jared Dudley is tweeting now because the NBA is thinking about starting the season in time for their “Christmas” launch. Christmas Day is their most watched day of the year, so that’s their agenda right now. If they have to start the season after just a two month break for teams like the Lakers–so be it. Dudley is trying to make sure they don’t shorten the season to accommodate for the short break. He knows Adam Silver will sell the shortened season as caring about “player health”, while skimping player salaries for a lack of games.
Something’s gotta give
We saw Damian Lillard threaten not to play when the NBA bubble opened if a “play-in” tourney wasn’t added, then it was. Now we see Jared Dudley standing up for the players and the salaries they’ve played their whole careers for. A fight to extend the season, but also legitimizing the 20-21 year that baseball fans didn’t feel with their 60-game season could. This is a stand-off to see who can grab the pile of cash first between NBA players and league owners. Here’s the difference:
NBA players earned their expected contracts, while NBA owners are looking to reverse what’s already been agreed upon. Jared Dudley is speaking for more than himself on this one.