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How High Salaries Effect Nba Players Negatively

2104 words - 9 pages

In recent years, the NBA and “trouble” seem to have become synonymous. In the past year alone, some of the biggest names in basketball have had run-ins with the law. To try to avoid this trouble the National Basketball Association started the NBA rookie transition program ("The problem," 2012). This training program serves to provide knowledge of what players can expect while playing in the NBA and how to balance the pressures and demands that come with their chosen career ("The problem," 2012). The program is cited as only having “modest success” and Harry Edwards, a noted sports psychologist and advisor in Oakland, California said, “I think they ought to send players to those courses every year, every season. It should be like renewing your driver’s license and driving test” ("The problem," 2012). No one disagrees that many professional athletes have problems that are not being resolved, and that reflect negatively on the whole league. NBA players are referred to as “high maintenance” by sports agents and the media. “Basketball players start getting pampered very young” says sports agent, Peter Schaffer. “Twelve and 13-year-olds are being brought to training camps, they get free shoes, they’re deemed to be special at an early age” ("The problem," 2012). The $475,000 rookie minimum is more than 10 times the starting salary for a college graduate and rookies are typically in their early 20’s ("The problem," 2012). Over the last decade, high salaries have had a variety of negative effects on NBA players including, the way the law is viewed, bankruptcy, family values, and production. Sometimes, these things ruin their career, or more accurately the way they earn a living.
High salaries are affecting the way the law is viewed. Many players were arrested on criminal charges including domestic violence, spousal abuse, carrying guns, brawls with the police, possession of drugs, stealing, and murder. The majority of these are related to drug or alcohol use. In 2006, Isaiah Rider was arrested for kidnapping. He was ordered to stay out of the city, but was spotted weeks later. After, he fled the scene and hit another car. When all was said and done, Rider was sentenced to 7 months in jail, 120 hours of community service, and 3 years’ probation, which was violated several times. (The Hoop Doctors Staff, 2008). It would appear as though these NBA players believe they are above the law. In many cases players are getting lighter sentences than that of the average person. Class A felonies, which is what Rider committed, carry a minimum sentence of 10-years of incarceration (Reinhart, 2008). In 2002 former New Jersey Nets player Jason Williams, Shot and killed a limo driver. It is said that alcohol was involved, and members of his team helped him cover up the crime by dumping the body. He was later acquitted of all charges (The Hoop Doctors Staff, 2008). The minimum sentence for murder is 25 years. These legal problems, sometimes cost players millions of...

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