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INDIANAPOLIS -- 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 (7 p.m. ET, ESPN) in Indianapolis.
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"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.
Bosh also is earning $17.5 million this season, while Wade is making $17.1 million. Had they taken max deals in 2010, each could have made just under $20 million this season. It would have cost the Heat an additional $8 million in luxury taxes, roughly $12 million next season, and they might not have been able to add players Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller, Shane Battier and Ray Allen to the roster.
The Heat, however, would be subject to what is known as the "repeater" tax starting in 2014-15 if they keep James, Wade and Bosh together because they would be over the luxury tax for four years in a row. In that case, the Heat would pay a tax rate that is currently more than four times the current dollar-for-dollar rate. James, Wade and Bosh do have opt-out clauses in their contracts in summer 2014, however.
"I think teams understand that you need three guys to do big things; the "big three" thing is pretty cool if you can get it," James said. "To keep teams like this together, you may have to take even less because of the new CBA. I guess we'll find out."
LeBron James says he can't be paid his true value under the current NBA rules.
Lebrons an idiot.
"A good burn is like good sex. It's simple, to the point, and leaves your victim totally destroyed."--Kenny Drebsen
I like how he tries to get people to feel sorry for him because he hasn't had a max contract.
I agree with both of you.
I have no problem with players and their agents doing what they can to secure the best deal possible, as that's part of the business, and that's their right. But one thing I can't stand is when a player making one of the top salaries in the league complains publicly about not being paid enough and wants people to feel sorry for him. Ridiculous. Keep that stuff behind closed doors.
Exactly. He wants people to feel sorry for him because he's getting paid millions of dollars to play a game that he LOVES to play. It's not like he hates every single time he has to go out on the court.
And he doesn't mention how much he makes in endorsements. He probably laughs at how much is salary is. He doesn't care. He needed to be a winner anyways. It would pay more in endorsements. So take a pay cut, make your "all star" team, win a ring keep making big money on endorsements.
Not to mention the whole income tax thing.
GOD FU*King dammit I can't even be on here ten minutes without leaving again. WTF is this sh*t? He isn't whining. They came to him to do an interview on the CBA and the "super teams." All he is stating is that his value to his team. He is under paid and that's the god honest truth. How in the hell can any of you sit up there and disagree with that? Lebron is the NBA right now. He should be making A-rod money.
You people and your Lebron hate is pure sickening. I mean think about it. You hate him over a damn press conference and introduction? All he did was chose where he wanted to work. Hell I been to Cleveland and Miami and if I had the choice I damn sure ain't picking Cleveland. And don't give me no BS about how dirty he did the cavs by not warning them. This is a business, sports teams cut and trade players all the time without warning. I mean look at Eric Gordon. He got fu*king traded to the Hornets. A team that NOBODY even wanted to buy. And they just changed their god damn name to the Fu*king Pelicans. PELICANS. Who in the hell would wish something like that on someone?
I mean he's never been in trouble with the law, no DUI, no Public intox, no drugs, no beating his wife, he's taking care of his kids who are all by the same woman, the money from that press conference that you all hate him for went to the boys and girls club, and the little boys that were names sports kids of the year, he completely changed their lives and got them to Miami for a game. I mean if there was one pro athlete that you would want your son to be like, it would be him.
My teacher told me that I was a piece of sh*t
Seen her the other day, driving a piece of sh*t
Nice to see you back. What do you want no max deals and a hard cap like the NFL? Miami wouldn't have a team right now if that was the case. And he makes like 40 million a year on endorsements. Of course he is going to try like hell to keep his image clean. But the dude isn't very bright.
He's not very bright at all.
" mean he's never been in trouble with the law, no DUI, no Public intox, no drugs, no beating his wife, he's taking care of his kids who are all by the same woman." This is my favorite part of everything he just said. Everything listed there is basically what a person is suppose to be like in life. It's nothing special. Should we all pat Lebron on the back for never being arrested and raising his own kids?
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