Thursday, August 25th, 2011 at 9:25 am  |  36 responses

David Stern Also Thought Eddy Curry Made Too Much Money

The WaPo‘s Mike Wise re-creates an amusing scene from a June labor meeting between owners, players, and David Stern (who had the line of the night): “Before Game 4 of the NBA Finals in early June, almost a dozen players and about 10 owners met to frankly discuss their economic differences and how they could avoid a lockout before their current labor agreement expired less than a month later. If there was ever a moment to crystallize why there very well may not be an NBA season and what this is about, it came when Mark Cuban spoke freely about a recurring frustration among his peers: stale contracts. ‘When we had Tariq Abdul-Wahad, he didn’t seem to want to train, didn’t really want to practice — he really was interested in a lot of things besides basketball,’ the Dallas owner said, according to three participants who attended the meeting, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity. Cuban added Abdul-Wahad, the former player whose physical ailments sidelined him for a full two seasons while with the Mavericks, had a guaranteed contract of six years, $40 million. ‘And I’m stuck with that,’ he said, the participants remembered. A lawyer for the players’ union then shot back that J.J. Barea, an emerging spark off the bench for the Mavericks en route to their first NBA championship, was making a pittance of $1 million for his considerable talent. ‘How about that? You’re getting a bargain in a guy like J.J. Barea.’ Finally, NBA Commissioner David Stern could not take it anymore. ‘All right, you want to go tit for tat, I’ll go tit for tat,’ Stern said, according to the participants. ‘I’ll see you J.J. Barea and raise you Eddy Curry.’ A shot to the gut, just like that.”

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  • marc

    BURN lol

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    What is Cuban crying about? He’s the one that agreed to pay a guy named Tariq Abdul-Wahad (career high 11/5 on 42%) 40 mill. Maybe he should do a better job scouting players next time.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    NBA players union/lawyer response to D.Stern: “Fold.”

  • http://slamonline.com Neitel

    Eddy Curry was making way too much money, for his fat ass…hopefully he will start producing…adbul wahad was garbage, why they even drafted his butt? interested in other things besides basketball, who does that? overpaid polayers that are trash, and bench warmers, a great example is the center for the miami heat, PITTMAN…so tall, and yet, didnt even did squat for his team during the finals, instead, leaves the arena, tweets that he is eating the best steak, while kobe is practicing his jumpshot, until 1am or 2am…that’s the work ethic we get sometimes from payers. If i was to get a shot at the nba, i will sleep in the damn court, especially after my tour of duty in afghanistan, who would waste such a precious time to be in an NBA arena?? only fat, trash, bench warmer over-paid players! The bar that michael jordan set in the 90′s, only kobe and 3 others have gotten close to match that…kobe being the closest by winning 5 chips with the same team. sorry robert horry, you dont count on what im trying to say here..you still a champion however…

  • Vin

    I second Marc.

  • @Deknowz


  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • MattMc

    Why the hate for Olivier Saint-Jean?

  • Pingback: Stale contracts provide new ammunition in this NBA labor battle – Washington Post | Sports Crunch

  • Sesjr

    Neitel….. Please learn how to effin spell…..


    I wouldn’t go as far as 2 say Tariq was “garbage”. If any1 remembers correctly, he was pretty solid w/the Kings. Mos def he was not worth the $40 mill tho. Once he signed that contract, he just gave up. Its obvious he was just playing 4 a good contract and he got it. He did have the talent 2 continue 2 have a pretty solid career tho. Just didn’t have the drive n my opinion.

  • John Wall Jr

    exactly… why are you offering these bums contracts then.? How about you be tight with the monies and see if that wins you a title.

  • DieselMechanic

    I used to love Curry. I hope he gets his game back together and gets back in the league. It’s not too late for him if he starts working hrad.

  • LA Huey

    Well, stop paying players on potential. Sign them to shorter deals with team options. And the knife cut both ways. There are All-Stars still on their rookie deals (ex. Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Russ Westbrook). I don’t see the owners of CHI, LAC, and MIN trying to renegotiate their deals to make things “fair”

  • http://SLAMonline.com GotHandles?

    stern is the best commish in sports.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    Co-sign Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. If you don’t want to overpay Eddy Curry, then DON’T OVERPAY HIM. Nobody has a gun to the owners’ heads forcing them to give out ridiculous deals.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    La Huey
    And you never, EVER will.
    But, it’s a legit gripe about injuries and player motivation. There should be a mechanism to prevent that sort of stalemate. But the players would be stupid to allow it to be one-sided. If you can cut players for under performance, then players should be able to leave the team immediately if the owner won’t meet their salary demands.
    The owners don’t want to discuss that option because they know good and damn well that more players over perform than underperform.

  • Red

    Check out Cuban & Stern employing the Divide and Conquer Strategy!


    No-one is to blame for these player contracts other than the people who give them such ridiculous amounts. What Curry is supposed to turn down $60 million? Like Sprewell, Eddy has got kids to feed… unfortunately unlike Sprewell, Eddy is going to feed those kids to himself.

  • http://dskjfl.com Jukai

    Allen: In fairness, the players are really way too adamant about keeping these guarenteed contracts. They really should let this one go.

  • Allenp

    Guaranteed contracts are the best thing they have. That is the holy grail.

  • Heals

    Got handles I think that’s by default now…

  • LA Huey

    If it’s not a fully guaranteed contract, then how is it fair? Let’s say, the Wizards are hot garbage for the next three years and show no signs of improvement during that time despite stellar play by John Wall. Should he have to wait out the remaining time on his contract or can he just up and leave? If contracts are only 70% guranteed, should John be allowed to bounce and find another team and pocket his guranteed money? A contract should be a fair deal for both parties.

  • bike

    A significant component of the whole bad contract problem was the surge of top draft picks coming straight out of high school like Curry. Outside of the true freaks of nature like Kobe or LeBron, there is no way any scout can truly evaluate how well a high school kid is going to do in the NBA. Stern attempted a fix by the one year removed from HS rule but the NBA would be better off doing what the NFL does–require a min. three years of college ball. It all comes down to what a player is really worth and no team should spend so much as a nickle on some tall kid with a 40-inch vertical who has not demonstrated the work ethic, character, drive, and skill set needed to be successful in a pro league.

  • zach

    Unless Eddy Curry put a gun to someone’s head, no owner should be mad at anyone but themselves for that contract. There is no acceptance of responsibility on their part. They gave out the contracts! If you gamble huge money on potential and lose, it’s your own fault. It’s like betting huge money at the craps table and blaming the dice when you lose.

  • http://www.opposingviews.com/i/nba-breakdown-cba-talk-revenue-sharing-salary-caps-and-lockouts Allenp

    My comment didn’t go through. Basically it said that if you look at all the high school picks since KG, it’s obvious they aren’t the problem. Just run the names yourself.
    Jermaine O’Neal, KG, Kobe, TMac, Stevenson, Chandler, Curry, Kwame Brown, Ndubi Ebi, Korleaone Young, Leon Rose, Stephen Jackson, LeBron, Brandon Jennings*, Darius Miles, etc. Some duds, but mostly players who have played well in the League at times.

  • LA Huey

    @bike, Curry was drafted by the Bulls. The Knicks traded for him 3 years after he was drafted. So by then, they could have assessed his work ethic and ability to play amongst grown men. And if they did it properly, they would have realized he had literal heart issues and questionable work ethic.

  • LA Huey

    And you can’t even sign unproven draft picks to “bad contracts” because of the rookie wage scale. So you really can’t place the blame high school and 1-and-done college players.

  • Benjipen

    Im pretty sure Eddy Will be broke before hitting 40

  • http://SLAM Jiggy

    i think david stern should shut the hell up and figure out a way for 2 see basketball

  • http://dskjfl.com Jukai

    LA Huey: I’m sure more player options will be worked into non-guarenteed contracts, but most of the known world works on non-guarenteed contracts.
    Honestly though, the league needs to make COACHES have non-guarenteed contracts. Because that sh*t is killing the league.

  • http://dskjfl.com Jukai

    Lemme take that back— having fully non-guarenteed contracts is pretty insane, I meant to say only the first half should be guarenteed. As in, you can only sign a player to three or four years of guarenteed money and the rest can be waived depending on performance.
    It’s not like these players will be out of the league, and in some cases, guys can even make more money like this (ie if Memphis would simply wave OJ Mayo at this point because they don’t need him, he can sign with someone else for better money earlier).

  • http://www.opposingviews.com/i/nba-breakdown-cba-talk-revenue-sharing-salary-caps-and-lockouts Allenp

    Most of the world may operate on non-guaranteed contracts but most people who make a lot of money do not.
    Most high paid executives and television personalities and celebrities have guaranteed contracts. Everybody on ESPN has a guaranteed contract. TNT too. So do the coaches, and the executives. So basically, people who benefit from the work done by players have guaranteed contracts, and they are pushing the folks who actually do the work to give up that benefit.

  • bike

    @LA. Maybe with 3 years of college ball under the right coach Curry could have developed a work ethic and/or they probably would have uncovered his irregular heartbeat before ever being drafted. A lot of things can happen to a kid during 3 or 4 years of college. Point is, the league gets so carried away with potential, upside, and athletic ability that all of the character traits sometimes take a back seat.

  • http://www.opposingviews.com/i/nba-breakdown-cba-talk-revenue-sharing-salary-caps-and-lockouts Allenp

    That happens with college kids. Isiah Rider would like a word.

  • asylum

    here’s an idea than, pay them a guaranteed contract with a sweetner at the end. An incentive bonus that if they play out a full 4 year contract they will receive a balloon payment at the end. I know there’s more to it than just that, but you get what I’m saying. If a player hurts themselves take it into consideration, but if a player is just going to sit around and be lazy, there’s no end payment. Call it an honesty clause or something, but it may make players play harder for the full contract rather than just in the final year when it’s up for renewal. I know some players honestly do have breakout seasons in the final year, but come on, we can see when a player is just playing for the contract most of the time. Something needs to be done!