The numbers states that LeBron James is the most underpaid player in the NBA. Quite shocking news, considering that he is one of the top players in the league.
If it were based on NBA alone, LeBron James is getting less than what he deserves. The Miami Heat star will only make $17.5 million this season.
According to Oklahoma University economist Kevin Grier, with $17.5 million in his pocket, LeBron is definitely underpaid. Based on his calculations and several other economists' opinions, LeBron should be making roughly $40 million.
LeBron actually admits it himself that he is underpaid. During one of his interviews with ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the basketball player said that he would make so much more if he were a baseball player.
"If this was baseball, it'd be up, I mean way up there," were LeBron's exact words.
But while he realize that he is underpaid in the career he has chosen, his popularity makes things a whole lot different. It is safe to say that LeBron compensates enough with his many endorsement contracts.
In fact, according to Forbes, LeBron is the world's fourth highest paid athlete with a cumulative revenue of $40 million. He currently has contracts with Nike, McDonald's, Sprite, Powerade and Bubblicious. And while he was paid $90m million for a seven-year endorsement contract with Nike, USA Today said that the contract turned out to be a bargain.
If we were to add up his numbers ($15.6 million in endorsement, $1 million in merchandise, $27 million on television rights, $7.1 million in ticket sales and roughly $15 million in salary for now), then LeBron's worth will rank up around $65.7 million per season.
So don't feel sorry for the Miami Heat player if he takes home less than what others are making, say for instance, Kobe Bryant who makes $27 million per season. The figures guarantee that there is no loss here for LeBron.