Ok, its more like if I was a billionaire, but I thought I would pay homage to The Barenaked Ladies for some odd reason. In any event, I was reading up on the latest LBJ information and the free agent class of 2010 in the NBA. It got me thinking about competitiveness vs money.
If you were LBJ, what would you do out in Cleveland? I thought about his situation and tried to place myself in his fancy shoes. Hard to do obviously, since I work my 40 hrs a week and wallow in mediocrity of middle class life. The only sports glory I know is in beer league softball and reflecting on my college days. I would only see a million bucks in my bank if I saved up for years on end and didn't pay my taxes. But I can honestly say... if I were LBJ, I think I would take a massive pay cut to ensure quality talent would surround me ala Selanne and Kariya did back in the day for Colorado. Of course, that backfired... but the basic premise was sound.
Let's face it. LBJ already has more money than he will ever need. Sign a huge hometown discount contract for a very lengthy term so you can finish your career in Cleveland. Put in a no-trade clause so you can keep winning year after year in a town where its fans would worship the ground you walk on. Become the franchise leader in EVERY statistical category, and play there for your career, ensuring nobody could ever eclipse you.
If LBJ wants more help around him, take less money. Endorsements and acting deals will easily make up any money you miss out on from your contract. Nobody needs to earn 10's of millions a year anyways. Let the GM go out and sign guys that will help you, but won't necessarily eat up all your stats. There are tons of guys that could turn your franchise around if you had the space, yet still enable the star to shine. Guys like Odom, Artest, Gasol, Posey, Billups, Bosh and Nene are examples of guys who want to help out, want to win, want to be effective... but don't feel like they have to launch 40 shots a night A LA Kobe or AI. Easy for me to say, probably because I am not the guy making the money. I suppose most people would take the money and run... and perhaps I would think differently if I were offered it, but from the outside looking in, it seems better to take less money and win more often, than it does to get paid and always fail.