Monday, June 27, 2016

What's to stop super-rich fans or corporations from buying star free agents for their favorite teams?

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog entitled The 'Kevin Durant will lose a ton of money if he leaves the Thunder' fallacy.  The basic premise was that even though Oklahoma City can pay him more than any other team in free agency, it shouldn't be a reason for him to stay put because his NBA salary is just a small part of his overall income--36 percent, according to Forbes, with endorsements accounting for the rest.

On that same day, the Boston-based restaurant chain Legal Sea Foods offered Durant unlimited free crab legs (his favorite meal) if he signs with the Celtics.  That got me thinking...

If a crab legs entree costs $30 and KD stopped by Legal's twice a week for 10 years, he'd be looking at roughly $30,000 worth of free seafood.  That's not going to convince him to come here, but what if it were $30 million?

Hypothetically, imagine Mark Zuckerberg (from White Plains, New York) is a huge NBA fan.  What's to stop him from calling up Durant and saying "Hey Kevin, I'm worth $40 billion.  How much will it take for you to join the Knicks?"  Next thing we know, KD is shooting a 30-second Facebook Live spot for which he makes $200 million.  If Bill Gates was a hoops guy, he probably would've paid Durant billions a long time ago to come back to Seattle and play in his back yard (literally).

At some point in the near future, something like this will happen, if it hasn't already.

Staples (headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts) is a Fortune 500 company, but I doubt they have an extra $100 mil in office-supply money to throw at KD.  Maybe we need to get the CEO of Fidelity on the phone?  I'm guessing the chances are pretty slim that Warren Buffett is a closest C's fan.

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