As an overseas basketball consultant, part of my job is to educate players of all nationalities, about the intricacies of overseas basketball. One of the most important lessons to learn is that basketball is a business, and sometimes, decisions are made that may not seem fair or just.
One such decision is when a team offers a player a very low contract to return to his or her team next season. This is a strategy that is used by teams to save money while trying to keep a player that they know. The team may do this fully knowing that the player will not accept the offer, but they want to make it look like the player is at fault for not rejecting the contract while making the player look like the villain in the eyes of the public and the fans.
For players, it can be a frustrating experience to receive a low contract offer, especially if they feel that they have performed well and contributed to the team’s success. It can feel like a slap in the face and a lack of appreciation for their hard work and dedication.
Dwight Howard’s situation in Taiwan is a perfect example of this. After averaging, 23 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists per game, he was reportedly offered a contract worth 65% less than what he made in order to return to the team next season.
Let’s put it in a little more perspective to be fair to the team however…Howard played in 20 games total with the team winning only 6 and losing 14 including closing out the season winning only 2 games out of the last 10 and coming in last place. Here is more perspective. There are only 6 teams in the Taiwan T1 League where 30 games are played in the full season.
By all accounts, Howard did an excellent job promoting the team (even before he got there) and he also went all in as far as accepting the culture.
However, it is important for players to remember that basketball is a business, and teams are always looking for ways to save money and maximize profits. A low contract offer is just one of the many tools that teams use to achieve this goal.
My advice to players is to carefully consider their options before accepting or rejecting a low contract offer. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of staying with the same team versus exploring other opportunities.
If a player decides to reject the offer, they should do so in a professional and respectful manner. It is important to maintain a good reputation in the basketball community and to leave the door open for future opportunities.
The business of overseas basketball can be complex and challenging, but with the right guidance and mindset, players can navigate these challenges and achieve success on and off the court.