Umm...No, they couldn't.
Like the article says, Bob Cousy fought for this in the 50s and it's now such an ingrained part of the NBA contract/CBA that it would actually be something the player's union would require concessions for.
The teams aren't just giving out $106 per day as a "perk," it's mandated by a league-wide contract agreement that is rigorously hammered out and fought for in a ridiculously detailed way every few years.
Sure a guy might earn 70m (10 years/7m) and that's enough, but by playing below his level and for 6-7 less years he just left maybe as much as another 90m (16 years/10m) on the table all because he wasn't motivated enough or didn't see the big picture.
I do think that they should work out in the off-season under the staff of the team they play for. I always thought it was weird that Tins and the other guys would go off on their own.
BTW, I've stayed in hotels with NFL teams the night before a game 3 different times (Colts, Rams, Panthers), and 2 of those were home games (Colts, Panthers). I have talked to staff of the hotels and even one of the Rams coaches about this process, mainly because the first time was the Colts over at the Marriot (there for a wedding myself) and it surprised me.
The reason they do it (at least the Colts for certain) is so they can control the eating and sleeping patterns of players before the game, and that includes stuff like sodium and vitamin intake, not just basic "don't party" crap. You'll get certain amounts of whatever works best for your body at X hours before the game, much like runners/cyclists do in order to hit peak performance right at game time. They run things a lot more scientificially than NBA teams apparently do based on this article, at least some of the teams. The Rams apparently don't (didn't) use a hotel for home games.
Imagine if Sam Hornish just showed up at the 500 after topping his fuel tank off at the local BP. "No worries Roger, I already got the fuel with my per diem".
Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 07-18-2007 at 02:14 PM.
Great comparison, and great points.
I'll agree, as some have mentioned, often the off-season is a bigger issue than the regular season, and that would be impossible to negotiate into the CBA. But it couldn't hurt to do it in the regular season, maybe guys can develop healthy habits.
Also, no one has mentioned the camaraderie aspect of this. Yea, it seems a little silly at first, but I think eating meals together goes a long way toward developing a sense of team unity.
Finally, I'll say this, and then I'm done. Everytime a player has a better-than-average year, the local paper will run a little "Hey, he's really got it together piece." Inevitably, they'll talk about his off-season, how he jogged 5 miles daily and biked another fifteen, how he lifted weights and made five hundred shots a day. And, almost every single damn time, the player will say something like "I even hired a personal chef, I dropped 15 pounds and I feel great!" I just think an investment in team meals during the regular season would be a beneficial investment (counting whatever it takes to get it into the CBA), but NBA teams don't do it as part of a larger hands-off approach they take with their players. And for the money thats invested in them, I think that's a mistake.
Damn it, trade JO so I have something relevant to talk about.