The NBA is to stop paying its players after its next round of paychecks go out on April 1st.
With all games currently cancelled and the basketball season having been suspended, nothing is certain.
Several games were suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak and the teams currently have no revenue coming in.
NBA players could possibly lose up $654m in pay because of the coronavirus. LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Anthony Davis #3 are pictured here
The difficulty arises due to the fact players have signed contracts that guarantee them a certain amount of money each month, over the course of a season.
The current situation is unprecedented but the association has already moved to appease players by paying the latest round of paychecks despite no games having been played since March 10th.
The next scheduled paydate after April 1st is supposed to April 15th but according Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the league has said that it will provide ‘additional guidance’ on that particular payday in the coming weeks.
The NBA’s six highest paid players
Stephen Curry: $40.2m
Russell Westbrook: $38.5m
Kevin Durant: $38.2m
James Harden: $38.2m
LeBron James $37.4m
Kyrie Irving: $31.7m
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver suspended the 2019-2020 regular season as of March 11 and expects operations to be shut down for at least 30 days.
If the regular season is canceled completely, the NBA could lose up to 250 games through the last day of the season on April 15.
It might be that the players involved will have no choice but to agree to take a reduction in their salary – even if it goes against a contract that both the association and players both signed.
If the canceled games are not made up, it means that star players would have to take a big hit to their bank balance.
It’s estimated, for example, that LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers could lose up to $8.95m from his $37.4million salary.
There was little sympathy from Twitter users at the idea that highly-paid basketball players might not be receiving as much as they had been promised.
‘Umm…they are millionaires. Cry me a river,’ wrote one. ‘Those poor millionaires…’, wrote another. ‘Boo hoo. Let’s send that money to nurses, doctors, hospital staff,’ suggested another.
Salaries are often worked out in advance usually based on the amount of ‘projected revenue’ a team is going to bring in over the course of a season.
There was little sympathy from Twitter users at the idea that highly-paid basketball players might not be receiving as much as they had planned over the course of the 2019-20 season
Players are currently being paid as if they were taking part in a normal season – and not one that is going to be experiencing enormous gaps in its schedule.
Wojnarowski believes that players and the league will work to find a compromise that both sides can agree on – even if that means the salary cap may have to be reduced.
One idea could be to reduce the salary of players over a longer period of time stretching over several seasons so that the amount of pay lost this particular year won’t be as dramatic.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers could lose an estimated $8.95 million
When it comes to those at the other end of the pay scale, some star players including Zion Williamson and Giannis Antetokounmpo, along with several team owners said they would cover the lost income of everyday arena employees.
‘N.B.A. teams, arena owners and players are working together in partnership to support arena employees impacted by our season hiatus,’ NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement. ‘Many have already announced their plans while others are in the process of formulating them.’
Many teams plan to reimburse workers for lost wages including everyone from ushers, concession vendors and ticket-takers.
Zion Williamsonn with the New Orleans Pelicans said he would cover the salaries of the workers at the team’s home arena in New Orleans for 30 days.
‘These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization,’ Williamson said. ‘This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates.’