The past doesn't matter. The Magic, for instance, seemed to be in a pretty good situation, improving step-by-step toward a championship. What little extra did they need to take the next step? Now they need everything. Shaq is in L.A. Was there any reason even to watch the Magic these past few years? Apparently not. They are back at the beginning of the board.
I don't understand. I know that "dumping salary" is very important, but I do not know how much has to be dumped by any given team at any given time. (Where does that dumped salary go, anyway? I could use just a little of it.) I don't know who is trying to win a championship and who is not, though at the end of the baseball season it becomes pretty obvious. I have no idea what the Miami Heat and/or Juwan Howard were/was doing. I don't understand "front-loaded" or "back-loaded" contracts or bonuses. When do bonuses count under the salary cap? When do they not? I don't understand "tender sheets" or "right of first refusal."
Cecil Fielder is a New York Yankee. Ruben Sierra is a Detroit Tiger. O.K. Jeremy Roenick? I'm not sure. Claude Lemieux won a Stanley Cup one year in New Jersey and the next in Colorado. How could that happen? Gretzky was with the St. Louis Blues yesterday and the Rangers today, and I am not sure what will happen tomorrow. Will the Rangers renounce the rights to him? Will they dump his salary? I don't know. Herschel Walker is back with the Dallas Cowboys.
"Huh?" I ask with utter discombobulation.
Here's the scary part: I'm paid to do this, paid to follow sports and write about them. What about the people who follow sports for fun? Someday, not long from now, professional sports might find that they have complicated themselves right out of business. The audience will be fast asleep, just from trying to read the fine print.