Dennis Rodman fought with everyone when he was in the league. Players. Management. Himself. But on Friday night, prior to his induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame, Rodman called out someone you wouldn’t expect. The player’s union. From the Chicago Tribune:
“Its going to be a lot worse. There probably wont be a season,” Rodman said. “Unless the players do what the NFL did. Theyve got to really cut a lot of money. Those eight-figure salaries gotta go. Paying these players eight figures and they get hurt with a guaranteed contract, you cant take that money back.”
In case you were wondering, the highest salary Rodman ever collected was $9 million in 96-97. So apparently high seven-figures in 1997 is okay, but eight figures fourteen years later is not. Of course, given that both Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan are two of Rodman’s best friends, and both are of course on the owners’ side of things (well, as much as Jackson is on the side of anything; the man is an enigma wrapped in a puzzle disguised as a mystery), it’s not totally surprising. At the same time, this is a player saying the players don’t deserve even $10 million.
That’s pretty strong stuff, even for a guy who is typically pretty strong in everything he says and does.
Is $10 million too much? That’s a pretty hard sell. Granted, David Stern has talked about how the current proposal has the players’ average salary at $5 million with room for growth. But keeping salaries that low, from where they’re at now? That’s crazy talk. But then, that’s pretty much the owners’ position anyway. Scorched earth policies always sound crazy from the outside.