NBA legend Rick Barry has never been shy when it comes to speaking his mind. And the latest topic he chose to go off about was the Boston Celtics’ decision to hand Jaylen Brown a contract that can be mistaken for the GDP of a tiny Pacific nation.
The Celtics secured the services of Brown for five more years after inking him last July to a monster $304 million supermax extension.
“You look at some of the contracts they have, like Brown, $306 million. I mean, that’s just hard for me to believe,” the Most Valuable Player of the 1975 Finals said of Brown’s deal. “You know what his average in the playoffs for them is 18.5 points a game. I mean, 18.5 points a game, and he’s going to make $69 million in the last year of his contract. But 18.5 points a game, that’s nothing. Seriously.”
Barry then dropped some blunt reasons why he believe the Celtics shouldn’t have dug that deep into their pockets to keep team control of Brown for more years.
“To pay somebody that kind of money, and he’s a nice player, I really like him, but man, he’s got to improve his game. He turns the ball over too much, he tries to force things, and so is his teammate [Jayson] Tatum. That’s one of the reasons they lost to the Warriors two seasons ago. They make too many turnovers.”
Salaries in the NBA have skyrocketed over the last several years and decades. Players today are being paid today like they’re asked to build an aircraft carrier. But that’s just how the economy of basketball works. Even if Barry understands that he’s still blown away by the amount of money the Celtics committed to Brown, perhaps also because back in the day, NBA superstars like him weren’t earning that kind of money.
I can’t wait to hear Barry’s thoughts once someone breaks the $500 million threshold in the NBA.