LeBron James is going to be a Los Angeles Laker for at least a couple of more seasons. There was worry he might not sign a contract extension with the team due to their poor year last season but that wasn’t enough to scare him away. He’s not locked up for a long time as he has a player option heading into the 2024-2025 season but it appears that he would like to retire a Laker.
There was chatter about LeBron potentially taking less money so that the team could have more flexibility with the roster. That wasn’t the case as he took the full max the team could offer him. He’s their best player and deserves the money but it will be more difficult to win. Fox Sports Colin Cowherd didn’t blame LeBron for taking the most money he could but he did question if the superstar cares about winning anymore.
“LeBron’s going to get paid the most he can get paid, so I can congratulate him on that,” Cowherd said. “He’s certainly earned it, but this roster is awful, and according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the primary issue for LeBron James is that privately he knows unless they land Kyrie Irving, this is not a championship team.”
Cowherd mentioned how James Harden took less money from the Philadelphia 76ers to help them with the roster. LeBron has never been a player to take a huge discount and it looks like he’ll never be. Cowherd believes that will kill his chances of winning another championship.
“I don’t think another championship, frankly, matters,” Cowherd said. “I really don’t for LeBron. You won two in Miami, came home to Cleveland, won in LA, it’s not going to change anything, so LeBron’s takeaway is ‘what’s the point?’ Listen, Kobe Bryant took every penny to the end, so I’m not blaming him, but the reality is, if LeBron really wanted another championship, you just take less money and go get some players.”
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NBA Agent Defends LeBron
Taking less money would’ve been a huge move by LeBron. He’s made more money than any player in the NBA and has ample income from off-the-court ventures. That still wasn’t enough for him to take a discount. Some fans aren’t thrilled with LeBron taking the money but an NBA agent thinks it’s ridiculous to think like that.
“No way he should have given up one cent,” one prominent agent told Sean Deveney Heavy Sports. “He plays in the NBA, he generates money for the NBA, it is up to his NBA employer to pay him what he is worth, and he is worth the max, every time. This idea that it is up to the player to sacrifice, that is nonsense. The fact that players agreed to max contract in the first place in the sacrifice. Baseball players are turning down $400 million contracts—imagine what LeBron would get in an open market.”
Should LeBron Have Taken Less Money?
There’s no denying that the Lakers would have a better chance to win if LeBron took a discount. The roster isn’t good right now but gets Russell Westbrook and his $47 million contract off the books after the season. Getting all of that salary cap space and not having to pay LeBron max money would’ve given Los Angeles a ton of flexibility.
If the goal was to win more championships, LeBron would’ve taken less money. There’s nothing wrong with him getting paid for what he provides the team but the Lakers are going to struggle to have the means to build a contender over the next few years.