Ever since the popularity of the NBA exploded during the 1980s, along with the exceptional growth of the soft salary cap, unrestrained free agency and guaranteed contracts, the only thing we knew for sure was when a player said it wasn't about the money ... it was about the money.
There are indications that this offseason may be the exception.
On Thursday, Gilbert Arenas told the world that he was accepting a six-year, $111 million contract from his Washington Wizards, reportedly giving back $16 million over the length of the deal. Under any circumstances, he is enormously overpaid anyway, especially when you consider he's coming off surgery on his left knee twice in sixth months and he played in only 13 games during the regular season and four of the six playoff games.
OK, so it isn't unmitigated generosity spewing from Gil, but it is out of the ordinary, just maybe not this year.
There are better examples though.
The primary guys are Baron Davis and Elton Brand. Consider that Davis opted out of the $17.8 million the Golden State Warriors were going to pay him next season, and stunningly accepted a five-year deal from the Los Angeles Clippers for an average of $13 million. Nobody knows what the Warriors had in mind, but it didn't seem to matter.
He apparently had decided to head home to Los Angeles, where he went to high school and then UCLA, to not only be around friends and family, but in the right spot for him to carry on with his movie production career. He got off to a great start last year with a documentary on the streets of L.A., and obviously that's just the start ... the opportunity to get the Clippers back into the playoff hunt another strong consideration.
Author: Fox Sports
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Added: July 4, 2008