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LeBron James thinks he doesn’t get credit for sacrificing with his contract

LeBron James may be arguably the best player in the NBA today, but he is not the highest paid. In fact, he’s not even in the top 10 this season. LeBron will make $17.5 million this season, which is tied for 13th in the league and more than $10 million less than the $27.8 million Kobe Bryant will make.

LeBron took less money to go to the Miami Heat for a chance to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. For that, he wants more recognition.

I have not had a full max deal yet in my career — that’s a story untold,” James said Friday according to ESPN.com. “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 it’s not all about the money, it shouldn’t be about getting credit, either. LeBron says he simply wants to win, so the amount of recognition he receives for sacrificing a few million dollars shouldn’t matter to him. In addition to pointing out that he has never signed a max contract, LeBron also noted that he could never be fairly compensated anyway because of the collective bargaining agreement.

“What I do on the floor shows my value,” he said. “At the end of the day, I don’t think my value on the floor can really be compensated for, anyways, because of the (collective bargaining agreement). If you want the truth. If this was baseball, it’d be up, I mean way up there.”

That may be true, but this isn’t baseball. Nobody wants to hear millionaires complaining about how they could and should be making more millions. By now, LeBron should know that. Then again, this isn’t the first time he’s made comments in hopes of getting more credit.

Photo credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE


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  • Gene

    Le Bron should get some love out of the media for this.  Everyone in LA thinks Kobe is a winner and wants to win badly, but he is at $27+ million.  The point is that because of the ill advised decision show, people are slow to recognize Le Bron for what he is – the best player in the world and a guy who plays an unselfish style of basketball which does indeed make everyone around him better.

    That being said, it is easier to take $17.5 million when you have Nike paying you nine figures.

  • iain_banks

    He’s underpaid, that much is obvious.  However its a cardinal sin to say it. He should have just kept quiet.  Kobe being paid 27mil is for 17 years of service, 5 rings and bringing untold fame and fortune to the Lakers/Los Angeles.  Shouldn’t be compared with LBJ

  • Trev Henny

    Willingly being underpaid just so you can stack your freakin team is nothing you should expect to be patted on the back for.  The NBA would be in ruins if this became an around the league thing.

  • david hernandez

    yeah right hes underpaid he makes 100million a year from nike and other sponsors..

  • Mark Grubbs

    Lebron is a great player. He made a choice as to take this salary to win a championship. He could have stayed in Cleveland. All pro athletes are overpaid.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanJF10 Ryan Farr

    If LeBron wants to talk about underpaid. Take a look at the best point guard to ever play. John Stockton was paid only around $2 million Dollars for like the first 10 years of his career. He basically told the team to go out and get some other people in there. You never heard Stockton talk about that. I agree LeBron is just incredible but I don’t want to see someone complaining for taking a pay cut to go team up with other superstars. Until he can do it on his own anyway his legacy will never be what it could be.

  • Griffin242

    There’s no comparison to Lebron in the NBA………He is talking about basketball nothing about NIKE …..By right he should be making millions cause nobody does more than he when he walks out on the court….Instead of he getting recognise for the great game he gets booted or always hear the negative things aabout him …..but regardless if Lebron has to eevr stop playing basketball NBA wont be the same after.

  • LOVEHOOP

    Lebron should not talk about being underpaid. He chose to get less to get a ring and he got it and now is looking for us to be sorry for him. He makes tons of money in other activities and he knew, he’s not stupid, Kobe paid his dues and deserves all the money he’s getting. I would like to see if Lebron would play with all the injuries that Kobe has had during his career, I have seen him being tap and he cries like a little girl. You have the best talent in Basketball and we know that now “SHUT UP, KEEP PLAYING AND BE A MAN, GET TOUGH”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004084223202 Jeff Webster

    I like Lebron, I do.  How do you make the I don’t get enough credit statement and immediately follow up with the game is the only thing that matters line?  It was your choice (one I think was good) to take the mere 13th highest to play with a bit more talent.  You can’t turn around and ask for pats on the back without sounding like a whiner (which he does in this one).  Play ball and just give the press as little as possible without being a jerk.

  • predes

    Wait, when untalented greedy CEO’s get over paid MILLIONS to run businesses to the ground, work people to death, steal pensions and help RUIN the economy, thats o.k.  But when a Real talented in his proffession guy comes along, Generates BILLIONs for his company (NBA) doesnt even get paid a fraction of what he’s REALLY worth in the scheme of things, then chooses even LESS money just to win out of love for the game,  and all he asks is some Credit? and thats to much to ask? you people are sick, if our heads of industry & government officials were as talented as lebron and OVER achieved and took less money to get us to win, then turned around and only asked for some damn respect & recognition….