🔥Upside Chat: Dr Ron Dick, Duquesne University, Ex NBA/NCAA exec on the MLB Rule Changes, the Kevin Durant Trade, March Madness, Ja Morant, Vanessa Bryant's $28M Payout, and more.
This week we had the honor to interview again Dr. Ron Dick, associate professor of sports marketing at Duquesne University in the school of business. Ron also worked for 20 years in sports, including 15 years in the NBA with the Sixers and the Nets, and then five years in the NCAA.
📝Show Notes: Through this interview, we touched on the MLB average salary reaching a record $4.2M this year. Then we talked about the MLB rule changes as well as the NFL lawsuit that claims racisms and sexism and retaliation. We also discussed the ATT sports regional TV network that might be filing for bankruptcy this month. We also talked about March Madness, Kevin Durant trade to the Suns, the NBA All Star Game, Ja Morant, and Vanessa Bryant’s $28M payout over the misuse of Kobe helicopter photos.
🚀Best Quotes: Here’s some of the key discussion points and best quotes from our conversation with Ron:
On the MLB average salary reaching a record $4.2M this year:
“ It seems like the big salaries are the ones that the $300M+, the $200M+ deals are really pulling up the average. The MLB also tried to get the minimum salary up from $50,000 up to hopefully $70,000-$75,000, which I think the entire player's union was happy about that”.
“And the problem is there seems to be the haves and the have nots. You have the, the markets that don't spend the money on the players. Historically my Pirates, the Orioles, the Diamondbacks, just to name a few. And then you have the ones that go over the luxury cap. So I think the players union would love there to be a floor where you have to spend upwards to $80-$100M a year, but there are a certain amount of teams that will never agree to that”.
On the MLB rule changes:
“The MLB has done some changes to the games, and they did it last year at Triple A, and now they're doing it in spring training for the Major League teams, which they have cut the length of the games back by about 30 minutes, which is certainly significant for most fans”.
“And people are like, well, you know, we're missing out on different plays. No, you're not. You're just missing out on the pitcher, walking around the mound, grabbing his shoulder and his sleeve, and the player pulling on his batting gloves and digging his feet in, you know, five times”.
“So they also made the bases 18 inches, which of course is the same width as the home plate. And as a result that that makes them three to four inches smaller, closer to each other, which will definitely affect stealing bases”.
“The games really got to be ridiculously long and young people got bored by it, and that's in the long run. The MLB has to adhere to, they have to capture the people that are younger so that the numbers don't dwindle that are watching on television. And I think this will definitely do that. The games need to be faster. Every research in the world will show you that”.
On the NFL lawsuit that claims racisms and sexism and retaliation:
“We'll have to hear more details. Obviously Roger Goodell will continue to be asked questions about this and in all these situations, it's best to just come clean, and do an investigation. I mean, that's all we can do (…) So I guess we'll see how that's gonna develop. Right. But it's always concerning”.
“Well it's the ugliness that happened in Hollywood with some producers and directors and now of course it's in pro sports too. I mean, it's in all walks of life and all these things are taken very seriously by human resource departments and they should be”.
On the Kevin Durant trade to the Suns”
“I think the Suns gave up a lot of draft picks, and I think KD has two years left on his deal. A mega deal worth $40-45M a year. And the nets are going to start all over again. But as I look at the seatings, the Nets are sixth in the Eastern conference, even though they've unloaded all these, high price players and now they have draft picks coming in, right? (…) I don't think the Suns are going to go to the NBA finals”.
“I see the Celtics against the Nuggets in the finals this year because I think they're the two best teams”.
On March Madness:
“I mean San Diego State is number 18. Wow. That's kind of coming from nowhere and. You've got the SEC well represented the Southeast Conference more so than ever before. You've got the Big 12 still doing well, and you've got some PAC 10 schools mixed in there”.
“The Big East teams have definitely taken a step backwards. The Atlantic 10 has taken a step backwards. Our conference here at Duquesne and some of the major conferences or the Power five as they're referred to seem to be more obvious than ever before. So yeah, it's a very exciting thing. I think March is such a wonderful month to be a sports fan”.
On Vanessa Bryant’s $28M payout over the misuse of Kobe helicopter photos":
“Looking into that situation myself, the first responders, who were deputies and firemen, took these pictures from their cell phones. And I think it's outrageous that they would do that. And this whole paparazzi thing and trying to get these pictures and people paying to buy the pictures. I've never seen the pictures, nor do I want to see them. It's disgusting, right?”.
“So I'm happy that's the settlement. I think it sends a strong message to anybody else that doesn't want to be a decent human being and take advantage of a situation. Maybe they'll think twice before they do it”.
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