I am almost invariably a LeBron fanboy, and I will defend him in any situation and for just about anything. I fell in love with his play style as a kid and I have never looked back. And, I might add, most of the time my defenses of him are well thought out and based in fact. But his last statement to the media has left me a bit stumped. For the first time in my life I can’t defend LeBron, and here is why.
First, a little back story. After the Cavaliers lost to the Pelicans this past Monday (who were without their hands down best player, Anthony Davis), making it a streak of 5 losses in 7 games for them, LeBron lost his temper a bit in the post game interview. This lead to him having some choice words to say about the state of the team. Do I disagree that they could use one more playmaker? Most certainly not. The NBA is now more then ever a league where a team has to have great depth to have chance of winning a championship, with more emphasis on guys that can do it all at multiple positions. That being said, if anybody is to blame for the Cavaliers front office not grabbing them a playmaker, you would have a good argument in saying it is LeBron; here is why.
LeBron has not (and will never again) hurt for money since he was 18 years old. Before he had ever played an NBA game he signed a contract with Nike worth 90 million dollars. 90. Million. It is estimated that in his now 14th season in the L, he has made 595 million dollars in salary and endorsements. He has a legit chance at becoming the second athlete (behind the great Michael Jordan) to be worth a billion dollars when its all said and done, and that will probably come a lot sooner for him then it did for MJ (who was 50 when he reached the billion mark). This being said, if he wants better teammates, take a smaller salary. This year the Cavaliers are paying James a total of 31 million. How much would it hurt LeBron to take a smaller deal, maybe only make a paltry sum of 20 million, and free up a bunch of cap space for a better back up point guard? I don’t think that he will have to take a mortgage out on his house if he lost a few mill of of his salary. So, there it is; I criticized LeBron. It hurts a little bit, but it had to be done.
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