But there are players in other sports making more money that the two-time reigning MVP, including Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who is on the verge of signing an eight-year contract extension worth $248 million, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. With two years and $44 million remaining on his current contract, and the extension to begin after the 2015 season, Cabrera's new contract will have a total value of $292 million.
That is some serious money to play the game of baseball. Would James like to earn that much to play the game of basketball? The answer probably won't surprise you.
Per The Palm Beach Post's Jason Lieser:
According to Basketball-Reference.com, James signed a six-year deal with the Heat in July 2010 for an assumed $109,837,500. Miguel Cabrera finds more than that buried in his couch cushions!
Of course, the NBA has one massive impediment to star players making Cabrera money—namely, the salary cap. Major League Baseball is the only one of the four major North American sports leagues to operate without some kind of cap, meaning teams can bid as much as they want for free agents or, in Cabrera's case, spend as much as they want to extend their own players.
The advantages of playing in a cap-less league were not lost on James, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst:
I said 'wow,' I wish we didn't have a salary cap. He's the best player in baseball and the best players in each sport should be rewarded. It'd be nice to sign a 10-year deal worth $300 million.
But don't feel too bad for James. According to Forbes, the star forward earned $60 million in 2013, once they totaled all of his endorsement deals:
James is the NBA's biggest endorsement star, thanks to deals with Nike, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Samsung and others. Sales of his signature Nike shoes rose 50% to $300 million in the U.S. during 2012, according to research firm SportsOneSource. He outsold his nearest NBA competitor by a 6-to-1 margin in the U.S.
As for that contract he signed back in 2010, James does have an early termination option for this summer. But he already has a good thing going in Miami, and he has shown no particular interest in exercising it.
Something tells me that King James will get along just fine with the money he's making right now.
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