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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Kurtenbach: ‘Checkbook wins’? ESPN Commentator’s Post-Game 5 Potshot Is Embarrassing

SAN FRANCISCO — After Game 5 of the NBA Finals, a Warriors win that took them one game away from their fourth title in eight years, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst went to the Sports Center and decided to embarrass himself.

“They have a payroll of $340 million when you consider taxes,” Windhorst said of Golden State. “You don’t just have to beat the Warriors on the court, you have to beat their checkbook. Nothing takes away from Andrew Wiggins tonight but it was a checkbook win for the Warriors.

A “checkbook win.”

In the days to come, no matter what the spin, it was not meant as a compliment.

No, it was intended to undermine the success of the Warriors this season.

And that’s fine. Indecent, but okay. Heaven knows I might even give a good pot-shot.

But what really bothers me about this is that it’s taking water for the cheap owners of the NBA who want to complain about a really rich team, really investing in theirs.

That’s the embarrassing part.

There’s a lot of “rumble” around the NBA that tells owners not to like the expense of Golden State. The Warriors have the highest payroll in the league at $178.9 million per USA TODAY, and with their luxury tax payments, they are, in fact, close to the $340 million mark for this season.

But how is this anything but a good thing?

Not just for Bay and Warriors fans and Steph Curry’s great-grandchildren, but for the entire league?

It is not that the luxury tax just disappears.

And shouldn’t it be ideal for a team to actually spend money on its players in an effort to make the best team possible?

The Warriors don’t break any rules, nor are they pushing any limits – they’re playing within NBA rules and are heavily punished for not being cheap.

They pay the luxury tax – making you spend more – because they want to win.

Obviously, this is not a universal wish in the NBA.

The Warriors are not the basketball equivalent of the Steinbrenner Yankees going all out and using the Oakland A’s as a farm team. This is not Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain sports washing position.

No, the Warriors spend money on their players from the money they bring in through investments in their basketball product.

It is also redundant to speak in a derogatory tone on such an enterprise.

World Nation News Desk
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