The Score - Anthony Schoettle

Welcome to The Score, your place for hard-hitting sports business news, fast-breaking updates and fuel-injected debate.  Buckle up.  I'm your host, Anthony Schoettle, IBJ sports reporter.

Sports Business

Bird's wins, not pay stack up

April 9, 2009
KEYWORDS Sports Business

birdThe Cleveland Cavaliers are two games away from equaling the 1985-86 Boston Celtics’ best-ever NBA home record. The Cavs are 38-1 playing on the banks of Lake Erie. They only have San Antonio and Washington to conquer.

But things were a bit different—in more ways than one—when Larry Bird, who is now Indiana Pacers’ basketball operations boss, led the Celtics to a 40-1 record in the Boston Garden. During the 85-86 season, Bird, then a seven-year veteran,  topped the Celtics’ payroll with a $1.8 million salary. Kevin McHale made $1 million and Dennis Johnson netted $782,000. Robert Parish, aka: The Chief, earned $700,000.

The Cavaliers will pay LeBron James $14.4 million this year, but he’s not even the team’s highest paid player. That honor goes to Ben Wallace, who will knock down $14.5 million. The Cavs are paying journeyman Lorenzen Wright, who has played in 16 games this season, $1.26 million.
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