Jan 21, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT
Marco Belinelli, explaining how the San Antonio Spurs pitched him during free agency last summer, recalled three factors. In the order Belinelli listed them:
1. Chance to win a championship
3. Support to improve his game
Belinelli is certainly getting No. 1. The Spurs are 32-9, best in the Western Conference.
No. 3 has happened, too. Shooting 69-for-138 (50 percent) on 3-pointers, Belinelli having – by far – the best season of his career.
No. 2? That’s a little more complicated. Belinelli is doing fine, making $2,750,000 this season and $2,873,750 next. If he keeps playing like this, he’s in line for a big raise. But if he joined a different team than the Spurs, perhaps he could have gotten a higher salary this year.
Belinelli, meanwhile, said he had more lucrative offers than the two-year, $5.6-million deal he would eventually sign with the Spurs. But the opportunity to play for one of the best teams in the NBA, alongside long-time idol Manu Ginobili, was too good to pass up.
“I know money is important,” he said. “But I’m a young guy and I want to improve my game. Money will come. I just want to win.”
Passing up money in free agency during his prime to play for a winner? That sounds an awful lot like another player many fans hate.
The scope is different, but there’s really no difference, in this regard, between Belinelli and LeBron James. We should all understand that each used free agency, a legitimate tool for players, to put themselves in the best-possible position based on what they value.
Because of those decisions, a Spurs-Heat NBA Finals rematch is quite possible. For Belinelli and LeBron more money will be there later – if they want it. In the meantime, they’re just two guys who put winning ahead of dollar signs.
- Kevin Durant says he’d ‘love to’ stay with Thunder his entire career, wants his jersey retired in OKC 12
- Anthony Davis says James Harden should be MVP 20
- Stop judging J.J. Redick by his Duke days if you haven’t already 7
- Thunder say Kevin Durant underwent successful bone graft surgery, will return in 4-6 months 4
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Monday: DeMar DeRozan went Harden on Harden 12
- Derrick Rose returns to full-contact practice, Bulls return date still unknown 13
- Report: Sacramento consultant Chris Mullin to take St. John’s head coaching job 5
- PBT Extra: Taking twitter questions on Clippers, Michael Carter-Williams, more 7