LeBron James: Income Tax Genius?

LeBron James has strategy on and off the court

With all the hysteria surrounding “The Decision” that was LeBron James’ choice to leave Cleveland for the sandy beaches of South Florida, there are still multiple perspectives we could analyze as to why he opted out of of Cleveland.

Many of you may already be aware of the obvious reasons but there’s one interesting bullet point that may showcase LeBron’s true business acumen.

There was a solid selection of teams out there bidding for the “chosen one’s” abilities and talent, not to mention the economic boost he would bring to any city that he went to play for. There was the Chicago Bulls, still reveling in the ghost of Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest player ever to play the game. However, the Bulls are currently an organization that has great talent and a positive upside with key players in place to potentially make a championship run if James was persuaded to move in that direction.

There was the New York Knicks, which had been looking for a savior since the great Patrick Ewing retired, and that was notably the first team to really state their claim and desire to have James recapture the culture, feeling, and energy of Madison Square Garden, better known as the Mecca of basketball.

There was the strong pull of the ole’ faithful Cleveland Cavaliers, who demanded loyalty and who was promised by James to bring a championship to Cleveland.

Finally, there was the Miami Heat, which had the strongest selling points. James would have the opportunity to play with his former Olympic Gold medal teammates Chris Bosh, formerly of the Toronto Raptors, and Dwayne Wade, current Heat superstar. This in itself increases the King’s chances to obtain that ever-elusive championship ring that all strive for but so few acquire.

To do it, James would reportedly take a severe pay cut, but I’m pretty sure that to the average person, a possible $99 million over six or seven years versus staying with Cleveland where he could’ve earned an estimated $128 million over the same amount of time is nothing to sneeze at.

Here’s what some may fail to realize: There are some added benefits to playing in the warm confines of South Florida. Florida has no state income tax. Zip, Zero, Nada.

That automatically factors into the King’s contract, depending on where he decides to live. If you remember ESPN reporter Jim Gray asking James if he would continue to live in Cleveland, his answer was, “I don’t know.”

This may be a stretch, but is it really? This argument in no way disavows James’ quest for a championship ring but, as with any decision that any potential employee of a business makes, a good rule to follow is weigh ALL your options. This is something James and his much ridiculed P.R. company and inner circle has clearly done. All hail the king’s savvy.

Here’s a comparison of state income tax for Chicago, Cleveland, New York, and Miami:

Note: This is all assuming James is given the same contract he reportedly expected to earn in Miami.

(Continued on next page)

Pages: 1 2