Murray Chass on the NBA
Murray Chass apparently doesn't follow the NBA all that closely: "Under the rules in the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League and what was proposed in Major League Baseball, teams may pay an individual player anything they negotiate. The team, though, cannot exceed the amount of money allowed under that season's rules for its entire team." (Cite.)
Basketball fans, of course, know that the NBA does, in fact, create a max individual salary for players. (There are exceptions, but the basic rule is that there is a max salary based on the number of years you have in the league.)
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