The LeBron Factor: Is King James Underpaid?


Photo Credit: LeBron/Facebook

When LeBron James decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and head to South Beach to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, there was complete chaos. Many fans labeled “King James” as a “follower” and a star athlete that wanted to take the easy route to get to the championship.

During that time, LeBron James wasn’t the most popular. Cleveland fans were burning every James jersey there was and many people in Akron, Ohio… which let’s not forget is LeBron James’ hometown, wanted nothing to do with the so-called “sell-out.”

Call it what you want, but after only two years with the Miami Heat, LeBron James’ decision finally helped him win a ring for the first time in his career.

From the day LeBron James made his decision in 2010, he instantly changed the landscape of two NBA franchises, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat.

Just how important exactly was LeBron James to both teams? In just one year (2010-2011) of having the “King”, the Miami Heat franchise increased in value of about $61 million dollars. The Cleveland Cavaliers, on the other hand, saw a major decrease from being worth $476 million to an astonishing $355 million dollars.

That explains why Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert had so much to say in his shocking public letter addressing LeBron James in 2010. After breaking down the numbers, we would be crying too Dan.

From every phase of the business, LeBron James helped Miami Heat’s value increase with TV ratings, nationally televised games, attendance, ticket sales, you name it.

Given all LeBron James has done, the “King” still isn’t the #1 highest-paid NBA athlete, which brings up the question, “should LeBron James be rewarded with more money due to the impact he has had on the game, the team, and the overall fanbase?

Below is an infographic detailing the complete dynamic of “King James” to both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat from 2010 to 2011.

The numbers are amazing.

LeBron James Is Underpaid

An infographic courtesy of

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6 Responses to The LeBron Factor: Is King James Underpaid?

  1. Saw this one, bro. Fortunately for Miami and their fans, Bron signed for what he did and has the wherewithal to make money elsewhere.

    Besides, $15 mil can’t buy a title. Not two, not three, not four.

    • CDR says:

      That’s right Chris. The funny thing is LeBron James, just through his game alone is making all this happen. The money that an athlete could get nowadays is ridiculous.

  2. Consider the team payrolls at present and the four years leading up James joining the Heat . The franchise lost in excess of $115 million . The team is now the biggest reason to watch anything relevant in the NBA.

    For a financial guru , Dan Gilbert , comes across as a real klutz ! And he is said to the founder of mortgage company Quicken Loans? What a crock of fecal.

    Tophatal …………….

    • CDR says:

      Like we said, Dan Gilbert probably saw it coming as well. Gilbert knew that the Cleveland Cavaliers would be taking a huge loss. Indeed, he was right. Ouch.

  3. Tophatal says:

    Given the profitability of the Heat, I’d say that the franchise will make a boatload of money off Lebron!

    • CDR says:

      The Miami Heat are already walking away with tons of money. LeBron James is just the main factor of it all.


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