Charles Barkley doesn’t shy away from telling it like it is. Even if it means burying one of his closest friends in Michael Jordan, or speaking on social issues in a way that many may label as controversial, Chuck will tell it like he means it.
Every time you tell the truth in society, they’re going to label you controversial. People would prefer I just go along with a gameplan because sports are all about making money. And then when I say something that maybe I shouldn’t say that is true, I take a lot of heat for it.Charles Barkley, The Arsenio Hall Show
The best thing about Chuck is he’ll be brutally honest even when talking about himself. So while he was discussing the controversies surrounding his NBA career and the league as a whole, Barkley talked about financial luxuries he and other NBA players have while sending a clear message – we make too much.
I think I’m overpaid. All athletes are overpaid. But the market can support it, so the players should make that money.Charles Barkley, The Arsenio Hall Show
The average NBA salary in ’92 was $1,090,347, as zero players earned $6 million or more. Today, the average NBA salary is nearly $7 million. So what was unattainable nearly three decades ago is a standard today. But there really is no way to be critical about it. Because whether you think morally is right for guys who are shooting the ball to earn more than guys who are saving lives, for example, the fact is that the NBA is business. In this business, in particular, everything gravitates towards the players. If that money doesn’t go to them, who should it go to?
Their salaries are and always will be impacted by the market. Where there is a big demand, the ones who people demand will be rewarded accordingly. And the demand for the NBA is huge; thus, players are getting tens of millions of dollars worth slices of cake. And some of them are overpaid within the system itself, but that’s more basketball-related. What Barkley was critical of is in a way a moral issue. But there’s no one to put it on, except for the people who are fans of the NBA, because they’re the whole reason the league had seen such a financial eruption.
So if you are critical of how much money NBA players make, don’t watch it. But you can’t help yourself, can you? The NBA sure is incredibly entertaining to watch.