And if Bill Simmons says so then it must be true, right?
Before this current labor deal, NBA players were always the highest-paid athletes, on average, in the history of American sports. This remains true. Collectively, they were overpaid — repeat: overpaid — and now, they're a little less overpaid
What's interesting to me is that he goes to the trouble of repeating himself! I mean, we all know that if you just repeat what you just said (but, you know, LOUDER -- or using fancy double-dash clauses -- that makes your argument stronger, right?). One might also think that after making such an assertion (and then repeating it in a special sentence clause), Mr. Simmons might be gearing up to offer some evidence in the form of, oh hell, I don't know, NBA revenues, or something like that. But, nope, the only time he uses any "numbers" after that is to pull random ones out:
Assuming everyone on that list is overpaid by an average of 300 percent (my conservative estimate), let's pretend their actual collective value is around $175 million, so we'll say they're overpaid by about $390 million total.
I love how he uses phrases like "my conservative estimate" to give the reader the impression that he sat down with reams of numbers in an excel spreadsheet, and then used some co-efficient to dial the numbers up or down. And the "let's pretend their actual value" clause is hilarious. It's not like there are publicly available numbers about how much revenue the NBA made, or how much money in stadium subsidies have been passed out. There can't be any possible mathematical basis for estimating a player's worth, can there? Fuck math, let's play pretend!
Look, as I said on Twitter, I get that Bill Simmons is like the Bill Maher of ESPN. His columns are supposed to be fun to read and contain lots of provocative opinions. That's why his column used to be "page two". And part of his style is presenting all his opinions in absolutes, so he can get the maximum dramatic effect from all his crazy exaggerations. Consider the drivel this guy once published about Kevin Garnett:
Fifty years from now, some stat geek will crunch numbers from Duncan’s era and come to the conclusion that Kevin Garnett was just as good. And he’ll be wrong. No NBA team that featured a healthy Duncan would have missed the playoffs for three straight years. It’s an impossibility.
Sure, the column probably wouldn't have been as fun if it was just basically "Oh, my, do Garnett's teammates SUCK, or what?" so the exaggeration is necessary, I guess. And of course, as our network once pointed out, Duncan had better teammates than Garnett every single year he was in the league. Again, why bother with math and stuff? That shit's just for geeks.
Oh, and I'll give you one guess about whether that article was written before or after KG was a celtic...