Would you walk away from a contract in place for the following season?
I can tell you my answer: probably not.
I’m not a pro basketball player, so I’m not qualified to judge one’s decisions. Therefore, I won’t. 🙂 That said, my answer is different from that of player Mike Bibby. Recent news (source: ESPN) indicated that Bibby gave up a contract for next season, so he could sign with a contender after leaving Washington. He ended up signing with the Heat, but wouldn’t be guaranteed the sure money for next season as a result. It wouldn’t have precluded some other opportunity for the following season, it should be added.
Why would a player do that? Apparently, based on what some analysts are saying, it could be about a chance to win an NBA ring. Miami is one of the favorites this season, with a star-studded lineup featuring a couple of perennial all-stars, and the club previously won an NBA championship. It’s an explosive team without any doubt, and one that has the potential to go the distance.
The Washington team that Bibby just left is one that could be going nowhere fast. It’s not one of the stronger teams in the league, and might be in rebuilding mode. With Washington, Bibby would have very little chance to win a title in the short-term. His chances of winning a championship there would seem to be low if he played out his contract in Washington.
By going to Miami, however, he got a better chance to chase a championship ring – the pinnacle team accomplishment for a pro player. In effect, the salary reportedly locked in for next season was, in effect, replaced by a chance to go for the glory. Again, that didn’t mean another opportunity couldn’t still come up for the following year. Might have been a great move for the player.
My assessment: coming from an average joe perspective (not judging Bibby here), it begs this question:
Is being on a championship team THAT important?
Personally, I think that the guaranteed contract is worth more than being an NBA title winner.
Granted, I probably don’t get how much it might mean to a player to win an NBA championship. What might be a great, smart move for an athlete might be viewed through a different lens from common folk.
If he stayed with Washington and played out his contract, he would reportedly get paid his multimillion dollar salary for this season, and also get paid a multimillion dollar salary next season. On the flipside, he would be on a potentially ordinary team that will probably lose more and would seem to be missing from conversations about the league’s title contenders.
By going to Miami, he still gets his salary for this season, and will have a chance to be a part of a championship team with 2 superstars, and lots of glory and media attention. On the flipside, that championship is not guaranteed, and neither was him having a spot on a roster next season. Though, of course, that could still happen as he’s a talented, veteran player who seems to be quite respected.
Would some people choose the money over winning? Is the salary more important to someone’s life, in the big picture, than being on a winning team for a few months? Remember, the NBA finals are in June, just months away. If you could have both that would be best, but if I could have one, the choice is easy for me: take the money over winning!
But again, I’m just saying that from the ordinary guy’s perspective, not applying it to a pro athlete’s perspective (which I wouldn’t know). If the average American got that kind of money in one year, it would be a dream come true. Retirement and a less stressful life would be upon us. This would not be a mirage of a financial windfall. This would be the real deal.
Some people will probably agree with me, while others will think I’m way off base. I have to assume that Bibby is making the best choice for himself and am not critiquing it, so who I am I to judge.
What do you think about the choice?
photo credit: Symo0