Friday before the Miami Heat are scheduled to play the Indianapolis Pacers, reigning NBA LeBron James made some comments he may wish he could take back. LeBron claims he doesn’t receive credit for being underpaid due to the collective bargaining agreement. Here are his quotes:
“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.”
“If you want the truth. If this was baseball, it’d be up, I mean way up there.”
While James’ point that in MLB where there is no salary cap he would most likely be making a killing, the fact remains that LeBron chose to take less money then he was eligible to make to play with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat. It’s not as if he was being lowballed; LeBron willingly left a max deal from the Cavs on the table to jump ship.
LeBron’s intent may have been misrepresented by his actual comments, but situations such as these remind people of the egotistical “The Decision” show and why they were sour on LeBron in the first place. People that can barely pay there monthly bills will have no sympathy for an athlete making $50 million plus in salary and endorsements. That’s where he misses the mark.
For as great a player as James’ is, his disconnect with the general public and his inability to sympathize with fan’s situations – the people who watch him, buy tickets, shoes, merchandise – may be his greatest deficiency.