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).
In being fiscally responsible during coronavirus pandemic, the Lakers are planning to ask a small group of senior level staff to voluntarily defer 20 percent of their salary, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 7, 2020
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.