Quick… name the top two or three players in the game. Can't narrow the list down that far? Give me your top ten. Did your list include the likes of Washington swingman Rashard Lewis? Milwaukee guard Michael Redd? No- so why are they so important you ask? Lewis' salary of $22.2 million annually is the second-highest figure in the league today, ranking behind the Lakers' franchise centerpiece, 13-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion, Kobe Bryant and is listed just ahead of two of the top power forwards not just in the last decade, but ever, in Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Lewis has never even been the best player on his own team, yet after being traded from the Seattle SuperSonics, Lewis agreed to a six-year sign-and-trade deal worth $118 million. Redd's salary this past season was upwards of $18 million- not bad for a player who played in just 10 games- averaging about $136,500 a minute.
The owners are firmly standing behind the idea of a hard salary cap and a new system because of the millions that Lewis and Redd "earned" this past season; but you can't blame Lewis or Redd because they didn't turn down that deal. It's the teams and owners that need to be blamed for the league losing bleeding out large sums of money. The only resolution that the NBA offered is that the salary cap be changed and thus, the players will be force to accept a pay cut with a hard cap and a decrease in the sharing of basketball related income.