CHICAGO -- Unlike in the NBA, where players' earnings are public record, PBA salaries are veiled in secrecy as though they were numbered Swiss accounts.
Opinion on Greg Slaughter issue
Two days ago, free agent Greg Slaughter broke that unwritten code by asserting via a comment on a SPIN.ph story that the "max offer" of P420,000 a month which he supposedly demanded was "not even close to what NorthPort was already paying me."
A bull-headed Taurus, who never shies away from a good fight, Greg also suggested that his former mother team is "fooling the public" with the misleading figures that manager Bonnie Tan insists on floating out there.
This, ladies and gents, is what a public relations black eye looks like.
But what is really disturbing here is the PBA turning a blind eye on the issue, playing deaf and dumb over Slaughter's scandalous confession that he was being paid more than what the rules allow.
A commissioner worth his balls would have been outraged by this bombshell. But Kume Marcial is just alarmingly chill, an inaction that lends credence to the long-held suspicion that his position is merely titular, beholden to a higher power.
If Slaughter is telling the truth, as I am inclined to believe, then those stories players have been telling me about signing two contracts --- one that is submitted to the league office and another under the table --- are not lies.
Heck, a star player from the one of those dominant blocs even confided to me last year about how he was unaware that the documents he was made to sign was a contract that extended him for two more years.
SKETCHY and WISHY-WASHY
He was made to believe that it was just some random, meaningless paperwork that must be submitted to the league office.
While these alleged under-the-table deals appear to be lucrative, it's also a double-edged sword that poses a potential for big losses.
Well, if a player, who has incentives such as a forbidden sweetener is traded, only his official contract will be honored by his new team, more so if said team is an independent with no means to pay beyond what is above board.
But that's a column for another day, so let's go back to dear Greg.
After vetting his claim, multiple sources told me that prior to the expiration of his contract, Slaughter did draw a monthly salary of P840,000 from Batang Pier.
The false narrative being peddled is that Greg is a rogue, disgruntled former employee.
He is not.
Greg is an aggrieved party, ignored and disrespected when he wanted to sit down to work out a long-term deal.
And he should be lauded for mustering the courage to tell his side of the story.
Unfortunately, the PBA is run by fickle, and perhaps insecure, men who conveniently misconstrue free expression as dissent. And the consequences they hand down against those who dare challenge the edicts of their institution are usually unreasonably punitive.
And that is why Greg Slaughter will likely never play a game in the PBA ever again.
Which is just fine.
Bobby Ray Parks had taken this tumultuous, less traveled road once before and he ended up in the Land of the Rising Sun where there is so much love and prosperity that he doesn't miss the PBA one bit.
Overseas can be a healthy escape for Greg as well.
Korea is opening its doors while pro hoops in Taiwan is blooming, just ask Jason Brickman, who went and never returned after getting a bag of cash.
And there's obviously Japan where the market is robust for a 7-foot big of Slaughter's length, might and credentials.
I've written extensively about the B. League and how its sterling success had translated into big paydays and perks for Asian imports. Greg will be embraced there and he can play hoops minus the drama while earning US dollars to provide for his young family.
Standing up for what is right is noble, but there are battles that can't be won.
Stop wasting your energy fighting the PBA, Greg. It's a losing, maybe even hopeless, cause.
Don't let that league push you around and then push you out through what my colleague Snow Badua refers to as a "silent ban."
Leave on your terms.
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