The NBA’s highest paid players used to dominate the list of the top earners in team sports, but no longer. Eight Major League Baseball players have deals that give them average annual salaries within the top 10 among all athletes in North American team sports, according to Liz Mullen and David Broughton of the SportsBusiness Journal (subscription only). Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony are the other two on that list. It’s a reversal from 2000, when eight NBA players were among the top 10 on those rankings, while two baseball players took up the other spots.
“The NBA players union has failed to protect the rights of the top players in the league,” agent Arn Tellem said. “Collective bargaining has proved totally ineffectual.”
It might help matters if the National Basketball Players Association were able to fill its vacant executive director position. They missed out on another target for the post when Blazers president Larry Miller turned them down, as Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reported this weekend. While we wait to see who they wind up with, here’s more from the NBA:
- Celtics GM Danny Ainge has consistently batted down Rajon Rondo trade rumors, but there’s an “increasing belief” around the league that Ainge will seek to trade the point guard for multiple assets, as Chad Ford writes in his “tank rank” piece for ESPN Insider.
- J.J. Hickson is leaving agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports and will soon hire a new representative, tweets Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post.
- ASVEL Villeurbanne of France has released former Clippers and Jazz point guard Travis Leslie, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).
- If Jordan Hill plays in 11 more games this year and averages at least 14.1 minutes per contest over the season, he’ll trigger an incentive clause worth $63,600, notes Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. Hill is averaging 20.2 MPG so far.