Why do athletes make this kind of money? Because they can

I long ago stopped complaining about athletes and the money they make.

This struck me again yesterday as I tried to get my hands around the notion of the Sixers offering center Joel Embiid a max five-year deal worth an estimated $148 million.

This for a guy who has played parts of 31 games.

He missed his first two seasons for injuries.

Last year's rookie season was cut short by knee surgery.

When he did play, he was on minutes restrictions and did not play on back-to-back nights.

He is expected to be in the lineup for the first time in the preseason tonight when the Sixers play the Nets on Long Island. Sorry, the game won't be on TV.

Yes, it's a roll of the dice. But it's one the Sixers had to make. Embiid just might be that good. Or he could wind up injured again and never amount to anything more than the flashes of brilliance he offered last year.

So why do athletes command such insane amounts of money.

I get asked that question a lot. I always give the same answer.

It applies to a lot of things in life:

Because they can.

It's the same for movie stars and others who rake in obscene salaries.

They do it because they can.

It's that simple.

Fans will continue to pay huge money for tickets, be gouged for parking and ripped off for watered-down beer.

The same goes for movies. The price keeps going up because it can. We continue to pay for it.

I still love sports. It's something dear to my heart.v But I no longer grip about the money these guys make.

They make it because they can.

I - and I assume most people - can't. They have a skill set that commands that kind of money.

Is it right? Probably not. Doesn't matter. And I don't see it changing anytime soon, despite the recent outcry over protests at sporting events surrounding the National Anthem.

Anyone care to disagree?