As expected, LeBron James informed the Miami Heat on Tuesday that he will opt out of the final year of his current contract. Tim Duncan, who could have retired at the age of 38 with five NBA championships under his belt, decided to opt into the final year of his deal with the San Antonio Spurs.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. LeBron could very well end up staying in Miami, but it only makes sense to sign another max contract while he is still in the prime of his career. Duncan may only play one more season anyway, so exercising his $10.3 million option for the 2014-2015 season makes sense. Don’t tell that to the people who paid for the billboard you see above.
Duncan has played his entire career with the Spurs, whereas LeBron left the Cleveland Cavaliers to chase championships. He has won two thus far. But Duncan got his first ring when he was in just his second NBA season, so his situation is far different from LeBron’s.
The truth of the matter is anyone with a brain would have opted out in LeBron’s situation. If you can secure more money over a longer period of time (even if it is from the same employer), why wouldn’t you? You can’t really compare a 38-year-old’s free agency decision to a 29-year-old’s, but we all know how much fun it is to rag on King James.