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Irish Coffee: At what point do NBA players cave?

10.25.11 at 1:27 pm ET

NBA commissioner David Stern is set to cancel two more weeks of the season. Or he isn’t. Or games through Christmas are in jeopardy. Or an 82-game season is still possible. Or you can torch the entire 2011-12 calendar, including the final years of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen‘s Celtics contracts.

Anything is possible.

If indeed the first 13 games of the Celtics season are canceled, here’s how much money each of the six C’s currently under contract might lose if their first two bi-weekly paychecks are never issued:

Kevin Garnett: $1,630,769.23
Paul Pierce: $1,179,487.23
Ray Allen: $769,230.77
Rajon Rondo: $769,230.77
Jermaine O’Neal: $478,923.08
Avery Bradley: $117,267.69
TOTAL: $4,944,908.77

Garnett has reportedly made more than $300 million in salary and endorsements, so $1.6 million is chump change (0.5 percent of total earnings) — especially when you consider he has $35 million in deferred salary from his last two contract extensions due to him over the first seven years of his retirement, according to

Bradley made $1.4 million in salary as a rookie this past season, so $117K is a crapload of money (8.4 percent of total earnings). Especially when you consider he could be fired after one game in a Hapoel Jerusalem uniform.

Since the Celtics are still selling merchandise, it’s difficult to tell how much revenue they would lose should those 13 games over 28 days go up in smoke. In the 2009-10 NBA season, the C’s earned $68 million in gate receipts over 53 home games (41 regular season, 12 playoff). With six home games scheduled through Nov. 28, that’s $7.7 million in ticket revenue based on the 2009-10 numbers. And that doesn’t include revenue generated from concessions or media rights. Still, they could be saving nearly as much in player expenses.

At what point do the vast majority of NBA players — who are making closer to Bradley-level money than Garnett-level money — panic about losing these paychecks? No matter how hard Garnett, Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant urge them to hold their ground, at some point they’re bound to cave. And that’s what Stern is counting on.


Add one more game to Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo‘s lockout slate. He totaled 21 points (9-of-20 FGs), 14 assists, two steals, two rebounds and a block in the Big Blue All-Stars’ 152-149 loss to “The Villains.”

Rondo and Jodie Meeks reportedly provided many of the game’s highlights at Rupp Arena, although this video of Villains coach and former Duke standout Christian Laettner buffing the floor where he hit “The Shot” to beat Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA Tournament’s East Regional final is priceless.

The Courier-Journal interviewed Rondo after the game about Laettner’s antics and UK coach John Calipari‘s recent comments that the  two-time All-Star “will have a knockout year.”

“He’s putting a lot of pressure on me,” said Rondo. “I’m just joking. He has high expectations, but I’m ready to go as soon as this thing’s over.” This thing being the NBA lockout.


If World Tour organizer Cal Darden Sr. doesn’t finalize an agreement with Puerto Rico promoters soon, the first game of the global exhibition expedition expected to feature Rondo, Paul Pierce and possibly Garnett could be in jeopardy, according to a Yahoo! Sports report. …

During a pro-am golf tournament in Florida this past weekend, Ray Allen told reporters, “”A lot of guys are getting bored. Once you get around this time of year and your kids are back in school, you’re usually going to work out. Now you’re not doing anything, and your wife is looking at you like ‘What’s up? Isn’t there something you could be doing?’ For me, it’s not the same because I can be out golfing.” …

On Monday, Delonte West bought a white 1994 Ford Bronco, “O.J. Simpson style.” It broke down before he got to a gas station. Let’s hope this is the last time Delonte and O.J. are mentioned in the same sentence. Is there anybody having more fun during the lockout than West?

At least now we know he isn’t completely broke, so maybe there’s still time before NBA players cave …

Read More: Boston Celtics, Delonte West, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo
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