Player Shirking: A Case Study

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Like Berri and Krautmann, I do not believe that a player shirks after signing a long-term contact, even though they receive guaranteed income and job security. One of the biggest reasons why I believe shirking does not arise is because team contracts often contain various performance dependent compensation that serves as additional income if the player meets expectations. Therefore, this additional contingent income can be seen as the opportunity cost of shirking because if a player shirks, the dip in productivity may prevent them from meeting these contract clauses and they will end up relinquishing these extra earnings. For example, New Orleans Pelican star Anthony Davis signed a maximum contract valued at $145 million in 2015 which contained a clause that required Davis to either be named the NBA MVP, be named an all-star starter, or make any of…show more content…
If a player performs at a level that a team’s front office believes warrants a lucrative long-term contract, then these expectations will carry forward to the next season. However, if the player decides to shirk and decrease effort, they may receive heavy backlash from both the media and the fans. Media attention may further lead to productivity decreases as it may lead to an off-court distraction that the player always has to deal with. As for the fans, the player may constantly experience jeering whether it be on the court or an off the court encounter due to their regression and lack of effort, which will obviously not sit well with fans. The criticism experienced by the player who decides to shirk can have an adverse effect on his utility because they are constantly under scrutiny and condemned by fans for not living up to expectations. Thus, a rational utility maximizing individual would benefit from not shirking after signing a long-term contract as the response from the media and the fan base may reduce his
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