Vince: The NBA’s bargain agreement will explode the salary cap – guys that get paid $10 million will probably end up making $20-30 million a season, for example.
John: I think now is the wrong time to start the explosion of the salary cap because the product in the NBA this year has been poor, to say the least. There are only two teams, Cleveland and Golden State, that we know have chances to win, but as far as everybody else, why should they even try to get players if they know they don’t have a chance to win? Let’s say the Chicago Bulls—I don’t know if they want to win now, or rebuild, or do both. It seems like they kind of want to do a mixture of both. The Knicks don’t seem to know what direction they want to go in. But Cleveland and Golden State are in the championships every year because they know what direction they want to go in. I think the teams need to come up with a better product first before they raise the salary cap, because what started out as an ugly mess is going to snowball into a monster.
Russell: I’m totally against the explosion of the salary cap, too. Guys making $15 million now, next year they’re making $25 million—and for doing what? There’s too much money involved and a lot of teams just don’t have the money to get these players. That’s why you see the same teams every year, three years in a row. Teams like the Bulls, the Knicks, Brooklyn, Indiana… they don’t have all that money, like Golden State, Cleveland, the LA Lakers, and the Boston Celtics have. I hope the explosion of the salary cap won’t affect the game that much – I think it will, but I hope it doesn’t.
Vince: Let’s look back; history gives us clues as to what might happen in the future. Which guy has won the most championships in the NBA? Bill Russell. In 13 seasons, he won 11 championships. That means he was put in the championship finals almost every year – I’m tired of looking at you, Bill Russell, the same way I’m tired of looking at LeBron James. Yeah, I’m tired of Golden State and Cleveland making it every year, but we might have more of that in the next couple of years until somebody comes up with a player or a system that works. Back in 1985, the Bears' 46 Zone changed football. Something’s coming, and it’s going to change the game of basketball just like the ’85 defense did with football.
John: Stephen Curry, I think, changed the face of the NBA about five, six years ago. With the way Golden State was winning and the way Curry was shooting, now everyone’s shooting 3-pointers. Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson changed the landscape of the game when they played just like Stephen Curry is changing the landscape of the game now.
Vince: I want to say one more thing about the salary cap going up. You’re going to have that growth and the players will love it, but there’s going to be a demand that the players meet new, higher standards. There’s going to be a lot more pressure on these players, and pressure tends to bust pipes—so we’ll see how that goes.