As every year passes, one of the things that becomes more and more clear in the NBA is that the players are increasingly in control of the league. After decades in which the power dynamic was mostly tilted towards management and the team, the people fans are actually tuning in for are finally the ones who in large part run the NBA.
A lot of that is due to there being more money for players in things outside of their direct salaries — like endorsements — than ever, as when someone is making millions on a shoe deal, a few million here or there on their playing contract may not matter as much as picking the situation that they want to be in.
One of the consequences of that new reality — along with shorter contracts and less ways for team’s to hold on to unhappy stars — is that there is a new, year-round interest in the league, as fans can always dream of the next disgruntled star joining them in a forced trade or free agency. The constant roster upheaval is great drama too, which draws in some otherwise less interested in the game.
During an appearance on CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green says that a lot of the credit for showing players that they have the power to take advantage of this new status quo should go to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James (emphasis mine).