Much has been made of LeBron James signing with the Miami Heat for ” less money”. His fans point to his ‘ sacrifice ‘ as a sign of his desire to win . But is it really that much of a sacrifice ?
Let’s look at the facts . James signed with Miami for 107.5 million over six years when he could have made 127 million by staying with Cleveland.however , he has already made a lot of money during his career. Fresh out of high school, he was handed a $ 90 million contract by Nike and since then his earnings from all sources must be in the neighborhood of 300 million or more. He is still only 25 years old and can look forward to at least one more lucrative contract after this one . Before he is done , he will probably be a billionaire.True , he took $20 million less to flee Cleveland for Miami but that is a pittance compared to what he already has made and what he will make in the future.
Matt Barnes , a journeyman player for most of his career , also accepted less money to go to a contender. He signed with the Los Angeles Lakers for $ 3.6 million over 2 years , turning down a $ 7 million / 2 year contract with the Cavaliers because he wanted to play for a title. Barnes has never made more than $ 3 million a year during his career and his career earnings must be less than $ 10 million. He doesn’t have any significant income from endorsements and ,at 30 , is in the closing stages of his career.
All things considered , wouldn’t you agree that Barnes made the greater sacrifice in taking half as much money in order to play for a winner rather than Lebron did in taking 20 million less ?
Please let’s not hear any more about LeBron’s great sacrifice and his desire to win.