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.
An infographic courtesy of CableTV.com.
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