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Just a reminder: Next year the Lakers will be insanely rich

Nov 30, 2011, 4:56 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks Getty Images

So much of the recent NBA lockout was really about small market owners trying to rein in the spending of big market owners in the name of mythical “competitive balance.” (I would say a lot of that was misplaced anger at bigger markets having better management, but we can debate that another day.) The Lakers and their $90 million payroll had to be stopped, so the group of Republican owners put a bunch of socialist rules in place — luxury taxes and forced revenue sharing — to slow the Lakers spending down.

But in the case of the Lakers, the question starts to become will any of that matter?

You know that the Lakers signed a massive new television deal to be the anchor of a regional sports network in Los Angeles to be launched by Time Warner in 2012. (Why the Lakers didn’t get equity in that deal confuses me, it seems a mistake on their part.) Here is a reminder of just how massive it is and how it could lead to them spending like always, via Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.

That $5 billion is over 25 years – or it’ll be merely $4 billion over 20 years if the future option isn’t exercised. It has been widely and wrongly reported as less.

Let’s pause and appreciate how much money one club, starting next season, will get per year all to itself just from local TV: $200 million … when Forbes values the entire Milwaukee Bucks franchise at $258 million.

It leads to a very good question: whether the NBA’s new supposedly prohibitive luxury-tax penalties to start in 2013 are really going to stop the Lakers from continuing to throw money at their problems – because they’ve solved a lot of them very well that way without having this new billionaire boys’ club.

Revenue sharing plays into this — the final details of it are not yet finalized among the owners, but the Lakers are likely to have to kick $60 million a year or more to small market teams. Plus the increased luxury tax could kick the Lakers’ tax bill from $20 million to $45 million in a couple years (at last year’s spending level. That’s an extra $100 million a year or more going out the door.

But the Lakers’ annual income from local television revenue is about to jump more than $150 million a year. So what’s to stop them?

It’s good to have the Lakers’ problems.

  1. Justin - Nov 30, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    “It’s good to have the Lakers problems”

    What? An aging team with a bunch of bad contracts who has a championship window that gets extremely smaller by the second? Sounds like an awesome problem.

    • aqzi - Nov 30, 2011 at 5:51 PM

      Did you read the article?

      You even recognize in your comment that the Lakers have a championship window right now. That’s more than, what, 24 other teams can say?

    • goforthanddie - Nov 30, 2011 at 5:58 PM

      FYI: It helps to have a clue what you’re talking about.

    • loungefly74 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:25 AM

      but you are forgetting , the Lakers are a team that can “load up on new weapons” with a blink of an eye. yeah, there is the cap and stuff but the Lakers always find ways to make room for superstars.

      and lets not be too harsh on them…they went to the finals 3 of the last 4 years. obviously, they are doing something right.

    • Justin - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      I love riling up you west coasters.

    • mhawkins258 - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:54 AM

      Since everyone called you out on your asinine comment, you’re “riling up” the west coasters now. Typical piece of sh*t hater that can’t admit when they f’d up and then tries to flip the script. People like you have a BS answer for everything.

  2. hellinisamoron - Nov 30, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    Of course competitive balance is “mythical”. There is nothing in the new CBA that helps address it. Your point is impossible to prove. Which is likely why you keep harping on it. A hard cap would have gauranteed that the teams with the best management win. However you were not interested in that because you were too busy getting cozy with the players.

    By the way, are the Lakers an example of one of your teams with great management? or do they just out spend everyone?

    • deadeyedesign23 - Nov 30, 2011 at 7:59 PM

      Ugh dude get off that cross your on, use the wood to build a bridge and get over it. Seriously.

      Small market teams will always have a disadvantage because they should. I hate to be the one to tell you, but the Lakers being great is good for the league, and David Stern knows it. If the Timberwolves were making the finals every year against Charlotte, he would throw himself off the top of Madison Square Garden.

      Oh please, please basketball Gods, please smite all these terribly run teams in markets that can’t support and don’t deserve professional franchises. If you this I’ll walk into Montreal with a sign that says f*** hockey.

      • hellinisamoron - Dec 1, 2011 at 6:54 AM

        N F L model was clearly the way to go. NBA needed to stop these teams from playing fantasy basketball. Even Dan Snyder could build a winner in the NBA.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:02 AM

        Oh sure the NFL model where Lions fans have been waiting 60 years for a championship. I’m sure if it were the NBA you’d find a reason to complain about that too.

        Also the NFL is not the NBA. The NFL is a national game, it’s once a week, you can follow all the teams at once. That’s how you can have a lucrative franchise in Green Bay, Wisconsin. If the Lakers or Celtics or Bulls were in Green Bay there would be no NBA.

    • mytthor - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:06 AM

      “A hard cap would have guaranteed that the teams with the best management win.”

      That already happens. Plenty of big market teams fail based on bad management.

      Competitive balance isn’t mythical because the NBA hasn’t done enough to get there. It’s mythical because there aren’t 30 players who can lead a team to a title. There aren’t even 10. What a hard cap or cap changes in general will allow is for the 5 teams with a shot to win a title to change more, but it’s still going to be 5 teams with good management, every year. If you’re down, and you have good management, it will be easier to get back up.

    • douchiedude - Dec 2, 2011 at 8:07 AM

      I want you to look up what the Lakers gave up for Pau Gasol and tell me whether the management is good or not.

  3. snoopy2014 - Nov 30, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    How much do the Clippers get for their TV deal? If they make (for e.g.) $25 million a year off a TV contract, that’s exactly how much the Lakers should have to give via revenue sharing, and not a penny more – because that’s exactly the amount of their revenue that’s due to the city and market size.

    The rest of the Lakers profitability comes from Jerry Buss running one of the best franchises in sports for decades, and he deserves to keep it. Fair’s fair. Don’t punish the man for success.

    • bruthamanfrmda5thflo - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:50 AM

      They need to pay their fair share. . . . . Just like the 1%er’s lol!
      It’s only fair to help keep small market teams in the game!

      • bruthamanfrmda5thflo - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:51 AM

        By the way I’m a Laker Die-Hard! They Gotta share the wealth!

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