LeBron James Says He's Worth More Than $17.5 Million A Year And He's Right

By Mack Rawden 2013-02-01 12:47:45
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LeBron James makes $17.5 million dollars a year. To the majority of professional athletes, that figure would be a gigantic overvaluation of their talents, but when it comes to the Miami Heatsí best player, his salary is actually a serious undervaluation. At least that is his take on his current paycheck, and from a logical perspective, itís hard to disagree with him.

He is, almost without question, the best player in the National Basketball League; yet, heís only the thirteenth highest paid player. Kobe Bryant makes $10.3 million dollars more than him per season. Because of the way the NBA salary structure works, the Heat arenít even legally allowed to pay James more than twenty million dollars this season, and the superstar actually decided to take a few million less, along with his teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, in order to keep the team from going over the salary cap and being forced to pay luxury tax penalties.

James told ESPN he has no idea how much he would get paid if the finances worked like they do in baseball, but since these are the rules in play, heís content to prove his worth on the floor. Plus, since he reportedly makes around $40 million a year from off the court endorsements, itís not as if heís having any trouble paying the bills.

If a player stays with a single team for much of his career and is among the best in the league, a team can eventually bestow Bryant-like contracts on them, but as Lakers fans are all too aware, clogging the top with expensive talents can lead to a serious lack of good role players off the bench.

If free market capitalism was truly at play in the NBA and he was only concerned about lining his pockets, James would probably be making somewhere around $35 or $40 million a season. Heís frightfully underpaid, but if taking less can win him more championships, heíll look back and be pleased with that decision twenty years from now.
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