Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley thinks the difference between NFL and NBA contracts is “crazy.” Gurley sounded off on the difference between both sports Wednesday on Adam Lefkoe’s show on Bleacher Report.
Gurley said it has reached a point where players he’s never heard of are getting $80 million deals in the NBA.
“I led the league in touchdowns the last two years and I just seen somebody get $80 million and I couldn’t even pronounce their name.”
The 24-year-old Gurley signed a four-year, $60 million extension with the Rams in July. The deal included $45 million guaranteed.
While Gurley sounds like he’s being critical of NBA players cashing in on big-time deals, that’s not entirely the case. When Lefkoe asks Gurley about Tobias Harris, who signed a $180 million contract with the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, Gurley says he didn’t know about Harris at first, but he likes the way he plays. Gurley then adds, “I ain’t mad at [NBA players,] man. They are doing their thing.”
Still, the difference is enough to make Gurley reconsider his choices. He tells Lefkoe, “If I was in high school right now, and I was 6-5, I would be in the gym every day.”
As Lefkoe hints at in the conversation, there are reasons for the pay disparity in both sports. The NFL deals with more players per roster, and the NBA plays a much longer season.
The economics of every sports league is drastically different too. Revenue sharing numbers differ from sport to sport. Some sports have salary caps. Some provide specialized contract offers to players who meet certain criteria. That makes it tough to directly compare deals across sports.
That’s not to say the NFL operates perfectly, or that the NBA system is too generous. Both have strengths and both have flaws.
Compared to both Major League Baseball and the NBA, the guaranteed money in the NFL tends to be much smaller. That fact matters quite a bit to someone like Gurley, who takes a great deal of punishment nearly every time he carries the ball.
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