Ballin’ On A Budget: Kobe Bryant & LeBron James Plan To Give Teammates “Lockout” Loans?!

20
Sep

The NBA lockout is still underway making many NBA players think hard about their finances and spending. With the lockout taking its toll on those who haven’t yet reached “baller” status, a few of the all-stars are offering their help to their down and out teammates.

In a recent press conference, Billy Hunter, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Assn.,talked to one-tenth of his 400-plus locked out players about the issue.

Although the NBA owners are currently holding on to the idea that they need to significantly slash payroll and institute a hard salary cap as a response to their claim 23 of 30 teams are losing money, Hunter’s players are scheduled for some rough times ahead without fall and winter paychecks.

In an interview with the L.A. Times, Hunter told the paper his ideas on the solution to find a middle ground. Check out an excerpt from Hunter’s interview after the break and how players like Kobe and LeBron will subsidize their teammate’s income after the break.

What would you define as the biggest holdup to an agreement?

“The system. The players are insistent there be no hard salary cap. If they [owners] keep pushing for the type of salary cap they’ve indicated, we’ll give up any percentage to share in the league’s future growth. We’ve already said we won’t accept that proposal they’ve given.”

Several of your players are multimillionaires who aren’t exposed to the physical rigors other athletes are. If the fans are going to start choosing sides, why should they support the players?

“We have some of the same issues now that so many individuals in this country experience. Of course, the difference is the pay scale. But the system we operate under is pay for performance. These players are the widgets. They’re replaceable. They face competition for their jobs. They do endure injuries, their bodies take a toll. The back end of some of their lives will be difficult.”

So, the players have saved money for a lockout fund?

“I haven’t heard one guy yet say anything about their financial strain. They say they’re prepared. Plus, we know the league has to return 8% of last year’s salaries from an escrow fund for coming in lower than the [2010-11 salary] cap. That’s another $26 million to the guys to help them if the paychecks don’t start coming Nov. 16.”

What role will NBA superstars like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James play as this moves forward?

“They’ve been deeply involved in the meetings we’ve had. I know Kobe is intimately involved in interfacing with colleagues and sharing in a pool of revenue to help the others get through this. Kobe has volunteered to do that in the event others need, he and others are prepared to loan money if necessary.”

If Kobe and LeBron are giving up money like that, can a sista get about 20K to pay off some school loans?

Of course MSDTV will keep you posted, so Stay Tuned…