I’m sure all of you have heard about Joe’s ungodly lucrative contract by now.
What interests me is that the Yahoo story that broke it generated over 1700 comments in a couple of days. It now has nearly 1900 comments!
I never imagined someone as low-key as Joe would generate such a reaction despite occasional fireworks such as this.
So many of the comments focus on what a ridiculous contract this is for someone who kind of choked in the second round of the playoffs last season, and is really good, but not at the Wade-Bryant-James level.
That’s a fair criticism, though Joe is also one of the few players who can claim to have led his team to more wins in each of five consecutive seasons while never getting into trouble off the court… I think that kind of consistency leading into this season’s playoffs built up a reserve a goodwill with the Atlanta franchise that 5 or 6 bad subpar games weren’t enough to erode.
But there’s another stream of vitriol running through the comments: the absurdity of professional athletes being paid tens of millions per season for playing games. I think the recession has only stirred the cauldron for those who see seemingly more dollars and media attention going to “pampered” athletes while the middle-class wages relative to cost-of-living have dwindled through the last few decades.
With the increasing chatter about this free-agent class in the preceding weeks, I believe a reserve of animosity was welling up in some of the general (internet-using) public, and news of Joe’s megadeal broke the dam. Unfortunately, Arkansas’ finest was the first to face the torrent.
Amid all the talk about the insane money being thrown around, the Boston Globe ran an interesting piece about a former NBA champion who’s now living out of his car. This player, Ray Williams, says he believes that players such as Joe Johnson should be sharing their new-found wealth with him since he helped blaze the golden trail upon which their Air Jordans tread.
Based on the majority of the 200+ comments, though, I’m not sure if Williams will get any help.
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