Lakers Owner Jerry Buss in Favor of Hard Salary Cap, Revenue Sharing?

by September 15, 2011
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According to the OC Register, Jerry Buss is on board (and probably not by choice) with other NBA team owners to have a hard salary cap and revenue sharing within the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. And that’s potentially bad news for the Los Angeles Lakers’ future: “Although cash can’t buy championships (see Knicks, New York), there’s no disputing how high the Lakers’ payrolls have been as they’ve been winning lately. Kobe Bryant’s league-high $25 million pay aside, Buss is set to spend $34 million next season on Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum – and then another $9 million on Lamar Odom just to back those two up. NBA commissioner David Stern went so far as to invoke the Lakers’ name Tuesday in explaining why owners are entrenched in getting a hard cap from the players during collective bargaining. ‘A team like the Lakers with well over $100 million in payroll and Sacramento at 45, that’s not an acceptable alternative for us,’ Stern said. ‘That can’t be the outcome that we agree to.’ As much as Buss loves his rum and Coke, he has held a Molotov cocktail with the NBA’s limited revenue sharing and soft salary cap. It has allowed Buss and his minority investors to make a lot of money and feel comfortable spending a ton of it on great players others can’t afford. But dramatically increased revenue sharing will inhibit the Lakers’ spending. A hard cap will flat-out prevent the Lakers from spending. It’s lose-lose when Buss is 77 years old and determined to come from behind the Boston Celtics in total championships, 17-16. Yet the Lakers have accepted it. Why? For the greater good. And you can’t play in a league of your own anyway. However much he leads his unfettered, playboy lifestyle – his latest summer vacation to enjoy was through Europe – Buss is married to these other NBA owners, for better or worse. So with their days of shopping alone on Rodeo Drive ending, the Lakers intend to go out gracefully – and loyally to Stern, for whom Buss has always had an appreciation. The many specifics of revenue sharing still need to be worked out – and progress is expected on that front Thursday in the NBA’s board of governors meeting in Dallas – but Buss is fully accepting that his pockets will be where most of the grabs go. He’s hopeful the revenue-sharing system leaves him some protection, but wherever the details of the sharing and capping go, Buss considers himself – bottom line – a team player on the owners’ side.”