Deron Williams was not trying to make a statement about the balance of small versus large markets in the NBA, he was simply answering a question posed to him by the New York Post.
Williams, the star point guard of the Brooklyn Nets, is on the cover of the new video game “NBA Baller Beats.” The question was would he have gotten that prime spot if he still played in Salt Lake City for the Jazz.
“Probably not,” Williams told The Post yesterday. “There’s not a lot of national opportunities in Utah. There’s definitely some local stuff, some regional stuff, but not too much national stuff.”
For a lot of players, that potential for larger endorsement deals matters.
There are a handful of guys so big that it doesn’t matter where they play — Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant. That level of star is so big nationally and internationally that if they are based out of Cleveland or Oklahoma City it doesn’t hit their bottom line. But this is an elite few players.
For everyone else, even a step below that — D-Will being an example — the opportunities for money and celebrity in big markets plays a role in making changes. If you are a good player or a role player, the opportunities in a big city can boost your income. So suddenly Los Angeles or New York become more attractive.
Understand that size of the contract (read: money) is always the main factor, with weather and lifestyle in the mix, too. But endorsement opportunities matter in the decision making process. And there is nothing that can go into a CBA to change the advantage big markets have there.