I’ve realized that I should probably start telling you where I get the words for Sprots Gloss because I’m not just sitting around plucking arbitrary terms from out of the air. Today’s term is Bird Rights. I heard one of the announcers during the Raptors-Pacers game last night say that the team holds the “bird years” on so and so (I think it was DeRozan, but I was simultaneously watching the Nats game). I was instantly interested in the term thinking all sorts of things like it means the player can’t fly away to another team or it means the team has the right to only use said player during home games (no flying on planes…it makes sense, trust me). Nope. Bird is the word as in Larry Bird, not tweet tweet bird. Duh, Megan.
The Boston Celtics were the first team to “break” the NBA salary cap to retain their star, Larry Bird. Since then, the NBA has allowed all teams to exceed the cap when signing players with “Bird Rights”. Players earn bird rights after they have spent 3 years with a team. Basically, the NBA is a bunch of marketing geniuses. Allowing teams to do whatever they have to in order to keep the faces of their franchise, thus endearing and keeping fans of their team forever, is brilliant. In the words of the great DJ Khaled, I like that.
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