Josh Smith should better gauge the company he stands amongst in the future.
Smith was officially introduced as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers this week after agreeing to sign a contract for the veteran’s minimum, per the Orange County Register‘s Dan Woike:
Clippers deal with Josh Smith is for the minimum – despite the flaws, that's good value
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 16, 2015
We want to emphasize “veteran’s minimum” here. Well, at least Smith does.
During the press conference at which he was introduced, he pulled something of a Latrell Sprewell, playing the family card when it came to addressing his salary. Here’s the Orlando Sentinel‘s David Whitley with the details (via Detroit Free Press):
At an introductory news conference with the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, the former Detroit Pistons free agent bust pointed out how the next year is going to be a financial challenge.
“At the end of the day, you know, I do have a family,” he said. “So it is going to be a little harder on me this year. But I’m going to push through it, you know.”
Ugh. I wasn’t there, and it’s unclear how accurate the provided context is, but UGH. This is not something you can get away with saying if you’re an NBA player. Especially one who isn’t on the fringes of a roster.
Sure, Smith was supposed to make something like $13.4 million this year. That’s instead been cut down to roughly $7 million when you factor in his minimum salary and what the Detroit Pistons will be paying him after waiving his contract via the stretch provision last season. And that’s a pay cut of nearly 50 percent, which is a lot for any human.
It’s not like Smith isn’t going to see the money the Pistons owe him. They’ll just be paying him around $5.4 million per year for the next five years. That’s not the end of the world. Let’s also not forget that, per ESPN.com’s Calvin Watkins, Smith turned down more money from the Houston Rockets to sign with the Clippers:
The Rockets offered Josh Smith the non-bird exception of roughly $2.5 million for the 2015-16 season.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) July 16, 2015
And it’s not like Smoove hasn’t already made bank. Basketball-Reference puts his career earnings at just over $93.9 million. By the time next season ends, he’ll have cleared $100 million.
Hence why this is so ughhhhhhhh.
Most people don’t accept nearly 50 percent pay cuts. Then again, most people won’t eventually be reimbursed for the pay cuts they do take. Most people won’t be making $26.8 million over the next half-decade from a company or, in this case, team that they don’t work or play for anymore. Most people haven’t already made almost $94 million for their careers, whatever those careers may be.
Look, Josh, we get it.
Actually, never mind. Because no we don’t.
Honestly and truthfully, hopefully Smith and his family are OK. Bad will shouldn’t be wished upon anyone just because they’ve made a lot of money. But, at the very least, Smith needs to scan the room and understand the company he’s in before complaining about problems many of those around him would love to have.