ESPN – LeBron James doesn’t think it’s possible to be paid his actual value under the current NBA rules. Because of it, he said, he’s been willing to “sacrifice” on his contracts.
“What I do on the floor shows my value. At the end of the day, I don’t think my value on the floor can really be compensated for, anyways, because of the (collective bargaining agreement),” James said Friday ahead of the Miami Heat’s game against the Pacers in Indianapolis.
“If you want the truth. If this was baseball, it’d be up, I mean way up there.”
There is no salary cap in Major League Baseball. James, who took a pay cut to sign with the Heat in 2010, is making $17.5 million this season, tied for 13th-highest in the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant is first at $27.8 million.
In 2011, when he was asked what it would take to get him to play in Europe during the NBA’s lockout, James speculated his play might be worth $50 million a year.
In the past several months, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies have traded star players because they were concerned about their salaries being too costly when a more stringent luxury tax arrives next season. The Thunder traded James Harden last fall, and the Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay this week.
James and teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all took less than the maximum salary when they signed three years ago. That should enable the Heat to keep them together next season, even with the new tax rules. James doesn’t believe they have gotten credit for that decision.
“I have not had a full max deal yet in my career — that’s a story untold,” James said.
“I don’t get (the credit) for it. That doesn’t matter to me; playing the game is what matters to me. Financially, I’ll sacrifice for the team. It shows for some of the top guys, it isn’t all about money. That’s the genuine side of this, it’s about winning. I understand that.”
Forbes recently estimated James earns $40 million per year in endorsements and sponsorships, thanks to deals with Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, State Farm and Samsung.
Cool story, bruh. You start by saying that you’re worth baseball money. That you’ll never fully be compensated for your skills. That you dont get credit for taking $17.5 million a year instead of just under $20 million a year. Then you finish it with saying that money doesnt matter; playing the game matters. So what the hell was this whole interview about? Are you complaining about your money? Do you want us to feel bad for you because youre being shorted $2-2.5 mill a year? Because I can guaran-damn-tee no one gives a flying fuck. This is the kind of shit that makes fans of all kinds cringe. We dont care that you’re making $17.5 mill instead of $20 mill. We dont care that you’re not be compensated to what you feel is “full.” You’re making $17.5 million a year while at the same time collecting on $40 million endorsement deals. Thats $57.5 million a year. Meanwhile there are people, hardworking people, who make $10 an hour and struggle throughout life. Ones who would kill just to make a $1 million a year. Ones who wouldnt bitch about “not being compensated fully” if they were making $1 million a year.
LeBron has done so much to try and fix his image since his “decision.” He finally won himself a championship, he did it by being “the guy,” he’s been in his fair share of commercials, he tries to be funny for the fans- even tackles the ones who make half-court shots– but then he goes and opens his mouth and BAM, he’s done it again. Alienates all the fans he’s won back. The fact that you think you’re worth $50 million a year is laughable. Thats roughly 3 players salaries. You could get Kevin Durant ($17.5), Deron Williams ($17.1) and Kevin Love ($13.7) for a grand total of $48.3 million dollars. Thats an all-star shooting guard, an all-star point guard, and an all-star power forward. Your shooting guard would arguably be the second best player in the entire league- behind you LeBron, you’d have arguably the best power forward in the league, and then you’d have arguably a top 3 point guard, some say second best behind Chris Paul. Thats three-fifths of your starting lineup. For less than what LeBron “speculates” he’s worth.
But dont get me wrong, if there were no cap some schmuck would definitely bankrupt his team and sign Bron for $50 mill. Most definitely. Which is why a salary cap is what every league should do. It doesnt make players poor. It doesnt hold them back financially. For Christ’s sakes he’s making $17.5 a year to play basketball. I have boys that would play everyday for free. Plus he’s making enough from endorsements just to wear, eat, or drink their product. LeBron is doing quite well for himself. I’ll sleep quite fine knowing that he’s $32.5 mill short of what he speculates his worth is. Quite fine. In fact, Im probably going to sleep better knowing that it bothers him. I know I said after his karaoke video that I wouldnt hate on him anymore- and I wasnt going to, but then he went and spoke. Sorry not sorry, Bron.