The NBA’s new TV deal worth $24 billion plus the Clippers selling for $2 billion has caused a lot of talk about player salaries especially with new CBA negotiations approaching.  The players have seen how much money the owners are bringing in and refuse to take less this time around.

Shay Marie

Kobe Bryant was asked about the new TV deal and how it impacts the upcoming CBA, and here’s what he had to say via NBCLA:

“Business is business and I think people get that confused very easily, the understanding that players should take less than their market value, substantially less than their market value, so the team can win championships. It’s very easy to look at the elite players around the league and talk about the money they get paid, compare that with the average (salary in America), but we don’t look at what the owners get paid, the revenue they generate off the backs of these players. And now you have a TV deal that comes out and you look at it being up like a billion dollars (a year) from the previous one, and this is coming off the back of a lockout in which the cap, it’s not a hard cap, but it’s pretty close to a hard cap.

“And now it will be interesting to see what happens in this next labor agreement. It’s my understanding this TV deal kicks in the last year of this current agreement, so I’m sure they will try to lock us out again and harden the cap even more and I think as players you got to hold your ground a little bit. Not be afraid of what the public perception is and instead try to educate the public a little bit and understanding that it’s not about complaining about how much you’re making, because that’s ridiculous — we are overpaid, at the same time so are the owners. And you have to fight for your value.

Kobe is right and he shares the sentiment of many other players in the league including LeBron James who said they don’t want to hear the owners crying broke this time around.  During the last CBA negotiations the players made a lot of concessions including giving up 6% of the league’s annual revenue share (basketball related income, the players used to get 57 percent, this last season it was 51 percent).  Since they aren’t willing to give in this time (and they shouldn’t), it’s highly likely that we’ll face another lockout.

As for Kobe’s two-year, $48.5 million contract that he’s often criticized about, he had this to say:

“I’m the luckiest basketball player in the league because I got an organization that takes care of its players.”