Jerry Reinsdorf is cheap- the facts behind the myth

Jerry Reinsdorf is cheap- the facts behind the myth
Jerry Reinsdorf (Photo by Chris Sweda)

Bill Simmons' latest shot at Bulls management- which I covered yesterday- has once again brought the "Jerry Reinsdorf is cheap" discussion back to the internet. It's always quite the comical discussion, because it leads to all kinds of ignorant people throwing in their uneducated two cents worth with all kinds of "examples" of Reinsdorf's miserly ways.

I almost feel a little guilty about writing this- in today's internet era, it is just too easy to find comic material, and I barely even have to think before posting an article. But since I believe that lots of folks actually want to be educated, I am going to lay out the truth once again. I'm not here to defend Jerry Reinsdorf, he doesn't need it- I am only here to educate.

For a simple starting point, most people seem to complain that the Bulls usually are the most profitable team in the NBA, and in the eyes of most, that means they should have the highest payroll in the league. Of course, common sense should tell you that it's hard to have the highest payroll in the league unless you have the best players in the league- but the sheep can't see that.

They apparently think that the Bulls should just spend money for the sake of spending it- even though these are the same folks who bitch and moan the loudest about a Carlos Boozer or Ben Wallace or Luol Deng being overpaid. Yes, it's comical to call the Bulls cheap while bitching about the overpaid players on their roster, but it happens. A lot.

For some fictional reason, folks seem to think that spending more money on salaries leads to winning. This is the 11th season for NBA teams to pay the luxury tax, and of the 44 teams that have played in the Final Four (the Conference Finals), only 23 of them were taxpayers.

11/22 East

12/22 West

That's not a misprint- in the NBA's Luxury Tax era, only 52.3% of Conference Finals teams actually paid the luxury tax.

As for some of the comments I've read from Bulls fans on the internet over the last few days:

There's a correlation between spending money and winning

Well, obviously, no. Not much of one, anyway, when almost half of the teams in the conference finals didn't pay the luxury tax. This year's conference finals feature one team (Miami) paying the luxury tax.

It's not how much money you spend, it's how you spend it. A team is much better off keeping its payroll as low as possible, which maintains roster flexibility. This year's conference finalists rank 3rd, 10th, 11th and 18th in team payroll.

A team with these profits should be signing and resigning multiple all stars

This is one of the dumbest statements you will ever find on the entire internet. The only way to sign all-stars is to get under the salary cap. The only way to get under the salary cap is to have a low team payroll, well below the luxury tax threshold.

No I'm not wrong on the on court product being worse because you don't have the records of what those teams would have been had those players been there the next yearIMO I don't see how they wouldn't have been better through the growth of other players AND keeping those guys.

OK, so I was wrong, THIS is probably the dumbest comment you will find on the internet.

How can you have "growth of other players" while "keeping those guys"? This is another one of my favorite comedic materials, people act as if you can have a 35 man roster. You can't keep all of your free agents AND add other free agents AND add draft picks.

One more comment, just to show that people don't even understand what they are arguing:

Every decision they have made since the luxury tax has started has been based on finances.

Citing signings like Kirk hinrich and mike dunleavy as reasons you ARENT cheap is incredible, ands you'd only find someone like this on the bulls board. Step back and think if lakers fans and Knicks fans were having this internal argument, would those signings be examples of their organizations being cheap, or used as examples for why they're spenders?

This genius has no clue. The signings of Hinrich and Dunleavy are EXACT examples that not all decisions have been "based on finances".

The Bulls signed Hinrich in the summer of 2012 and paid him $3,941,000 for the 2012-13 season. They could have instead signed any random veteran PG, and the Bulls would have only paid that player $854,389.

The Bulls would have saved $6,173,222 in salary and luxury tax in 2012-13 if they would have signed a vet minimum PG instead of Hinrich. They would have saved another $3,174,707 in 2013-14 with a vet minimum PG instead of Hinrich.

Last summer, the Bulls used the full taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Dunleavy to a $3,183,000 contract. They could have instead signed a vet minimum SF and it only would have cost them $884,293.

The Bulls would have saved $2,298,707 in salary in 2013-14 if they would have signed a vet minimum SF instead of Dunleavy.

It would have cost the Bulls an extra $5,473,414 for Hinrich and Dunleavy last season if Rose hadn't got hurt, because the Bulls would have been taxpayers if Derrick was healthy and they were still competing for a championship.

The Bulls also paid Rip Hamilton $11 million when they could have signed a vet minimum SG that would have only cost them $1,708,778.

The Bulls would have saved $8,291,222 in salary in 2011-12 and 2012-13 if they would have signed a vet minimum SG instead of Hamilton. They also would have saved another $1,000,000 by not having to pay Rip's buyout.

That's $17,763,151 the Bulls could have saved over the last three seasons if they would have signed minimum salary players instead of Hinrich, Dunleavy and Hamilton. And they had planned to spend another $5,473,414 if Rose would have stayed healthy in 2013-14. But yeah, all of their decisions are based on finances. [/sarcasm]

I have never seen a team get so much criticism for letting "superstars" like Omer Asik and Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli get away. But for some reason, a huge amount of Bulls fans are afflicted with "I'm so pissed, my team let their 8th man get away" disease. Nate got $2 million on the open market last summer, and Marco got $2.75 million- yeah those guys are extremely valuable, and obviously highly coveted around the league.

Houston couldn't even get a 1st-round pick to give away Asik, but far too many Bulls fans act as if they let the second coming of Shaq get away for nothing.

I hope you'll leave a comment that shows an example of Reinsdorf's "cheapness". But please, be able to discuss it intelligently. Thanks in advance.

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    Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. He attended Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (NBA Runaround, The NBA According to Ellis) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters, SportsCenter anchor) . In addition to running Bullsville.net and ChicagoSportsWriters.com, and writing for ChicagoNow and SportsBlog.com, he is also a KHSAA and semi-pro baseball umpire. He's a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. Follow Don on Twitter @Bullsville.

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