When the clock strikes midnight on Thursday phones will begin to ring in the homes of the agents who represent the members of the biggest free agent class in history. But of course, you knew that already. It’d be pretty hard not to since ESPN has been running pieces on LeBron James during every Sports Center since the Cavs were knocked out of the playoffs. All the buzz about who can offer him. The money and all that it entails. Heck, LeBron was the biggest story of the draft. What a joke!
Through all of this we’ve seen teams dumping players to free up salary. Some teams even making trades that do nothing more than kick a good player out of town, just go ask Kirk Heinrich about that. It seems that through all of this the league doesn’t seem to realize that the fans are the ones who might actually pay the ultimate price for all of these moves in the end.
No, I’m not talking about higher ticket prices either. I’m talking about the possibility that some of these teams don’t get the pieces they think they will. The Knicks and Nets have tanked the past few seasons. Doing everything in their power to free up cap room to attract the big names. Most recently the Heat and Bulls started making deals to free up more room so they could get more “max” guys. Well what if they don’t get those “max” guys? Are they just going to say “well we tried, come out and watch us play, we might not win but at least we’re entertaining. Oh and don’t forget we’re giving away vuvuzelas!”
Some of these fans have already had to deal with their franchises going “all in” and throwing seasons away hoping that things will pan out. Focusing on the what “could be” and not what “is”. The owners aren’t really hurting for money, they aren’t the ones who have to sit there in anguish and watch their team get run out of their own arena every night. Go talk to Nets fans and ask how they feel.
The point is that we already know what these big name free agents are going to get paid. What we don’t know is how much it will cost the fans who support the franchises who have risked everything only to lose it all.