LeBron James wants $17 million for his Miami manse. He wants a lot more from the NBA.
The league’s marquee talent warns NBA owners not to cry poor in the next round of collective bargaining. That “will not fly with us this time,” the Cleveland Cavaliers forward says.
The remarks come in the wake of a new television deal that gives the league $24 billion over nine years. The deal with TNT and ESPN runs through the 2024-25 season. James says he signed his short-term deal this offseason anticipating the massive new deal that roughly triples television revenue. The current collective-bargaining agreement expires in 2017.
James credits former commissioner David Stern with leading the league to this lucrative point. But he can’t help but notice that, with the Clippers selling for $2 billion and the NBA’s 30 teams reaping the $9 billion TNT/ESPN windfall, that owners who claimed poverty in negotiations with players can sell their teams for more money than ever and can count on a massive, steady revenue stream for the next decade.
“The whole thing that went on with the negotiation process was that the owners were telling us that they were losing money,” the four-time MVP told reporters. “There is no way they can sit in front of us and tell us that right now.”