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FILE In a Monday, May 30, 2016 file photo, forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts during the second half of Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the in Oakland, Calif. Durant announced Monday, July 4, 2016, that he is joining All Stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson with the . Durant made the decision public on The Players’ Tribune Monday morning. He can’t officially sign until July 7. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

There is plenty of blame to go around, so let’s try not to forget anyone. Let’s start with the NBA and the lockout of 2011. It cost the league 16 games and $800 million and in the end the owners caved on the one issue that mattered most: a hard salary cap that would have spread player talent more evenly around the league and given the smaller market teams a fighting chance to compete. The hard cap works brilliantly in the NFL, where parity reigns and every team has a chance (well, except the ).

Instead, the NBA settled for a 51 49 player owner split of revenues and a luxury tax for teams that exceeded the soft cap. It seemed to be having the desired effect until revenues soared $1 billion the last three years and the NBA signed a $24 billion TV contract with ESPN and Turner. All of which jacked up the salary cap from $70 million this season to $94 million next season. And, bearing in mind that 51 49 player owner split of basketball related income that must be met, teams are offering boatloads of cash to players. Six of the seven biggest contracts in NBA history have been proffered in the last week, ranging from $127 million to Bradley Beal to a record $153 million to Mike Conley.

James launched an era in which the philosophy is, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That would have been unthinkable a NBA Jerseys China
few years ago. Michael Jordan didn’t run off to join the Celtics or Lakers when the Bulls failed to win a title during his first six years in the league. He won six titles the next six years of his career, all with his original team. Larry Bird (three titles) remained with the Celtics, even though he didn’t win a title his last six years in the league. Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson won five titles apiece and played for one team in their careers. Isiah Thomas didn’t win a title his first seven years in the league and then won two of them while spending his entire 13 year career with the Pistons.

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