Big Ben’s Independence Day Special: Obscene NBA Contracts, Bobby Bonilla Day, NY Rangers Sign a Local Boy

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INDEPENDENCE, NY: Happy 4th everyone! And even though our president is a mean girl, internet troll, we still have much to celebrate. So enjoy it, but be careful. Especially if you’re a franchise player with a multi-year offer on the table. Too soon? What better way to celebrate America than to talk about money. There are some huge dollars being thrown around in the NBA, the Mets just cut another check to Bobby Bonilla, and the Rangers gave $26.6 million to a local boy.

#Sad

NBA Contracts Go Wild

J.J. Redick signed a $23 million dollar deal from the 76ers. If you’re like me, you might be asking yourself “$23 million for how many years?” One. The answer is one. J.J. Redick will make $23 million next year. He’s a nice player and all, averaging 15 points per game last season. But 23 god damn million? Lunacy.

By comparison, Kevin Durant, one of the top two or three players in the league just signed for the discounted rate of $53 million over 2 years. Or $26.5 million per year. No one thinks Redick is in the same league as Durant, figuratively speaking, but he’ll make almost as much next year. What is going on in the NBA? Is the cap too high? Are there so few decent players? I’m baffled.

Bobby Bonilla Day

Speaking of ridiculous contracts, Bobby Bonilla Day just passed. Don’t worry Mets fans, only 18 more years of paying him $1.1 million every July 1st. Forget what I said before, J.J. Reddick was a steal at $23 million. The Bonilla contract makes everything look like a bargain. 

Bonilla still smiling and getting large on the Mets’ dime

What do you think Bobby B does every July 1st when he gets his money from the Mets? Maybe he gets together with his agent and celebrates with a bottle of bubbly like the ’72 Dolphins. Maybe they invite the Wilpons and buy them a sympathy meal. Deferring Bonilla’s contract was a no brainer at the time. The Wilpons were pulling in 15 percent a year with their investments through the genius Bernie Madoff. Bonilla’s lousy million a year will be chump change. He retired in 2001 and will be paid through 2035. How did that ever look like a good idea? Oh wait, I know. The Wilpons though Bonilla’s million would be chump change since they were pulling in twenty percent a year on their investments through the genius Bernie Madoff. That was one of the worst calls in sports contract history.

Local Boy Makes Good

Compared to Bonilla, Kevin Shattenkirk will practically be playing for the Rangers for free for the next four years. Okay, four years at six and a half million per is not exactly free, and you won’t see him on the bread line, but he could have gotten more years and more money from another team. The New Rochelle, New York native wanted to play for his home town team and signed for a relative pittance.

Rumor has it Shattenkirk made the offer to Jeff Gorton, the Rangers GM. I bet Gordon couldn’t draw that contract up fast enough. Good for you Shatty, how much money does one really need anyway? With Shattenkirk, Ryan McDonagh, Brady Skjei, and Brendan Smith, the Rangers suddenly have a formidable top four on D.

And with recent acquisition Anthony DeAngelo, Russian import Andrei Bereglazov, NCAA star Neal Pionk, and Wolfpack prospect Ryan Graves pushing Nick Holden and Marc Staal, the Rangers suddenly have a serious surplus of defensemen. The team’s biggest weakness last year is now a strength. If the second year GM can somehow turn one of these extra guys into a useful center, it will be a banner freakin’ off-season for the Ol’ Gorton family. Maybe the Rangers can win a Cup for Hank yet.

Wait, this is Shattenkirk? He looks like the equipment manager.

Happy Birthday, America! Come back for tomorrow for Angry Ward, who unlike me, will probably make a point. Follow us on Twitter at @benwhit, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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About the Author ()

Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.

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