LeBron’s money-grubbing has reached a new, unprecendented high with his claim that he might consider leaving for Europe for a 50 million dollar a year salary. Currently, the largest NBA contracts top out at under 20 million a year. That’s probably not going to change significantly by 2010 when LeBron enters free agency. LeBron no likey. LeBron has a great idea – why should The Chosen One limit himself to the NBA and its paltry 20 million dollar salaries? LeBron owes it to himself to explore other options, right? That’s capitalism, baby! European leagues do not have silly things like cap limits or luxury taxes. Maybe LeBron could go there. Maybe for $50 million a year. Just maybe.
The way I see it, this story could be interpreted in a number of ways. Maybe LeBron is a pure money-grubber (that is well-documented, after all) and he really would bail on the NBA for 50 mil in some crap Euro league. Or could he be saying that Euro leagues are so bad, it would take the amazing sum of 50 mil to get him over there – basically insulting the Euro leagues. I think the most likely scenario is that LeBron is basically trying to scare the NBA franchises into jacking up its asking price for King James (or maybe Nike will pick up the slack to ensure he stays in the US market). Maybe LeBron just got loose from his handlers and blurted out something stupid. Wouldn’t be the first time. Maybe it’s a combination of all of these things.
Realistically, we all know that LeBron will go the Knicks or Nets for ~20 million and continue his lame powder-clap bullshit in a different jersey – staying with the NBA until he retires. And he’ll continue to rake in obscene sponsorship money and say and do obnoxious things that piss me off. No matter what happens, it’s a guarantee that he’ll continue to be a total jerk.