My colleague Todd Kendall's paper, "Celebrity Misbehavior in the NBA" (link to abstract) appears in the June issue of the Journal of Sports Economics. Kevin Lewis discusses Todd's paper in today's Ideas section of the Boston Globe:
The author found that having a high salary compared with other players on the team, or in the league generally, was associated with unsportsmanlike conduct. Strikingly, the highest-paid players on a team egage in 7 percent more unsportsmanlike conduct than the second-highest-paid players. Although there are many possible explanations for this pattern, the author concludes that the evidence is consistent with top-paid players having their team and fans over a barrel. A top-paid player is supposedly more exceptional and therefore cannot be replaced easily, so the team and fans give the player more latitude.