I want to hate on Maurice Williams. For making the Heat squirm while awaiting his decision, and for choosing the money over the potential to win a championship. I know I'm probably giving the Heat too much credit to believe that one point guard can put this team back on the path to the 2008 NBA Finals. I mean, Mo ain't Jason Kidd. But that's what fans do: they believe the improbable.
The pundits are hatin' on Rashard Lewis. Again, for "taking franchise money" even when he obviously ain't franchise talent. The Magic will be fun to watch (I'm a big fan of Stan Van Gundy and believe he'll get the best out of the guys he's coaching), but they are still a 7 or 8 seed in the East even with the 110 million dollar man (and 80 million dollar boy).
Everybody's hatin' on Stevie "Franchise" Francis. How the hell did he get a $30 million buy out of a $33 million contract. What, is the Portland franchise that stupid? Buy outs are supposed to be "pennies on the dollar", right? Dude hasn't played that well since his 2nd or 3rd season in the league, and now he'll probably get 2-3 million dollars more to not play for another team, probably Houston.
When you get right down to it, though, I'm extremely happy for the player who can convince team ownership to overpay for the talent they employ. Recognize the NBA as the corporation that it is. Most owners of NBA teams also own other multimillion dollar companies. In fact, the teams are their side business in many cases. The team is just one of the entities that they invest in for profit. These men are worth 10 times the salaries they pay the players. These folks also will own these teams for decades, and in some cases generations, having acquired them from their daddies and in turn plan to pass them down to their sons (and daughters). The NBA team is a 401(K) for these guys, paying annuities to them and their heirs. The earning potential of a player in this game is what, 5-7 years on average? And if, as I suggest in a previous post, they have not really been prepared to pursue another career path, they will leave the workforce at around age 30-33. Think about that for a second--they will have to provide for themselves and their families for another 40 or 50 years off of the money they've earned over a 10 year (and that's being generous) period. The point is that the earning potential for an NBA player is a LOT shorter than the earnings over the life of an NBA team owner and his heirs.
So, no way am I going to begrudge Williams, Lewis, Francis or Carter the "overpayment" they received on recent contracts. They should be able to provide for their heirs too, since their performance on the basketball court helps take care of generations of Paul Allens, Richard De Voses, Jerry Busses, Mickey Arisons, Herb Kohls, James Dolans, etc., etc,