Report: Lakers senior level staff to defer 20 percent of salary in response to coronavirus

Nov 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers President Jeanie Buss before the game against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center. Bulls won 118-110. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA reported in late March that they had reduced base salaries by 20% of 100 of its top-earning executives around the world (first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN). The Lakers franchise has now taken this a step further, as members of their “senior level staff” have voluntarily deferred 20% of their salaries to stay with the franchise as a whole (first reported by Shams Charania/The Athletic).

Dave McMenamin of ESPN further elaborates on this decision, saying that the decision is “in an attempt to shield lesser-income employees from being asked to take a pay cut during the uncertain economic times caused by the coronavirus pandemic”. Many fans of the NBA have been worried about these lower-level employees of the Lakers, Staples Center, and other teams/stadiums of the NBA as their jobs are rendered pointless due to the lack of NBA games happening.

There haven’t been many negative outcomes regarding the Lakers/Staples Center staff reported in the media, possibly due in part to the Lakers’ top brass deferring part of their salaries. Mostly though, this is due to the resident sports franchises who call the Staples Center home (Lakers, Clippers, and the NHL’s Kings), combining to help pay all Staples Center employees although they won’t be able to come into work.

It’s not reported what members of the Lakers’ top employees will be deferring payment, but you have to assume that this at least includes Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka. Either way, you have to admire the senior level staff for making the sacrifice as we continue to deal with the financial uncertainties surrounding coronavirus.

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