Nov 10, 2011, 4:29 PM EDT
Let’s take a step back. Remember how earlier today we passed along information about the Heat’s Mike Miller selling his Miami area home, and how that is a sign he (and everyone else) thinks the amnesty clause will be used on him once the lockout ends? Well, Brian Windhorst tells the same story over at ESPN.
But he adds this fascinating detail.
Heat owner Micky Arison is worth more than $4 billion and his sitting on a massive lump of money from thousands of season ticket holders who’ve paid in full. Not to mention he didn’t have to pay LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh their July balloon payments. James, sources said, was owed a $12 million check in July as part of his contract that allowed him to get 80 percent of his annual salary up front. That cash is still sitting in the Heat’s coffers. Yet the Heat’s employees are all swallowing 25 percent paycuts right now because of the lockout. We infer from this exactly what Arison has proven for years: he’s a businessman not just a billionaire.
Everyone — even the most optimistic people in the league — knew there was going to be a lockout and it was going to last through the summer. (The optimists thought no games would be lost.)
So how did anyone approve a July 1 balloon payment that wouldn’t be made for months, at best? The league had been telling players to space out their payments from last season (if your contract had the team paying you for last season into the summer, that was fine, it is payment for services delivered). But the big three went with the big balloon payments.
How u, Miami?