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Sam Howard: The Jazz, the league, the politics: NBA needs a hard salary cap

By Sam Howard

Published: Thursday, Nov. 29 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) drives the baseline against Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012.

Elise Amendola, AP

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I have been a die-hard Jazz fan my entire life. This means that for every game played there is an emotional roller coaster ride awaiting. There is never a guarantee that the Jazz will win, but no matter the odds, I cheer loud and hard; they are my team.

The Jazz franchise is a small-market team. This means they have to compete against teams from very large markets such as Los Angeles and New York. Last year the National Basketball Association was in a lockout between the owners and the players' union. Both sides came to terms but probably not the best terms for the future of small-market teams.

The owners discussed the possibility of a hard salary cap, which would prohibit teams to have salaries that exceed a set amount of money. The NFL and NHL already use this system. This would stop teams such as the Lakers, who are under contract this year for $100,180,731 in salaries, from playing teams such as the Rockets, who only have a salary of $47,993,212.

The league would be much more competitive if they would have gone with the hard cap. For example, football is the most popular professional sport in America. No one is surprised when a smaller-market team beats a larger-market team because of the competitiveness of the NFL.

What we have to remember is the NBA is an entertainment business that has a goal to make as much money as possible. It is more profitable to the league to allow a few teams to double the salaries in larger markets. It all comes down to money, and because of this, the league is creating superstar teams that if they can work together, will be able to slaughter everyone in their path to NBA championships. They may as well create a traveling circus show similar to the Harlem Globetrotters rather than trying to make a fan base believe the games are on an equal playing field.

Since 1982, only nine different teams have won championships. This could just be a coincidence, but look at the winning teams, they are coming from the biggest markets, which make the most money and in turn spend the most money on their rosters. I would also like to point out that the league would not make near as much money if the Jazz are playing the Pacers in the championship finals compared to if the Lakers and the Heat are playing for the championship.

I will always be a Jazz fan. The Jazz may have all the odds and money against them, maybe even the refs, but there is nothing sweeter then the taste of beating big-market teams.

Sam Howard is a resident of Erda.

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