With wealth comes extravagance but not for LeBron James, the multi-million dollar basketball player with Cleveland Cavaliers whose frugality is quite the opposite of many rich athletes and millionaires.
Image: Le Bron James
Ben Rohbrach of Ball Don’t Lie described the legendary player as “NBA’s best…at being super cheap, an assertion which Dwyane Wade, a teammate and close friend to the basketball icon, confirmed to be so true.
In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, our beloved James, a 4-time NBA’s Most Valuable Player and probably the most scrutinized star of the league, recently revealed how he’s unarguably the sport’s “cheapest guy” – not exactly how you might want to look at it.
King James, 32, has fleets of cars and luxury homes, and can afford almost anything he so desires. After all, he was ranked second only to famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo in Forbes list of highest-paid athletes in 2016. Between salary and paid endorsements, the Ohio-born star earned a cool $86.2 million last year.
Speaking on Monday Night Football, James helped squash rumors of his alleged thriftiness. Dwyane, who was part one of the guests, declared his friend as ‘NBA’s cheapest guy.’ When Nichols asked James for his opinion, the popular athlete said, ‘That is so, so, so, so falsely true. That is so falsely true.’
James’ mouth-watering 3-year contract with the Cavaliers is worth $100 million – Nike, Coca-Cola and Kia Motors pay him around $55 million in endorsements.
Although his name is synonymous with wealth, ambition, focus, perseverance, hard work and success, the basketball icon just can’t help being thrifty. Critics say he’s “too cheap,” and to affirm the allegation in 2008, at an Eastern Conference semifinal match against the Boston Celtics, a report from the Cleveland Scene revealed that James left a $10 tip on an $800 bill after dining at XO Prime Steaks in the city.
He later claimed the issue was “a misunderstanding,” and sent in a reasonable “consolation” the following day. The news made rounds on the internet and was a standing joke for some time.
James told Nichols at the interview he would never use a cellphone if there’s no WiFi.
Dwyane leaked it first, and his friend didn’t deny the truth.
It later became clear that the accused person refused to subscribe to the music streaming service Pandora, which costs $4.99 per month. He claims it’s part of saving money – like the little drops which make an ocean.
‘You know you’re rich, right?’ Nichols quipped.
‘No, I’m not doing that,’ James told ESPN when asked if he buys apps, too.
In his humble statement, he revealed: ‘I’m not turning on data roaming, I’m not buying no apps, I still got Pandora with commercials.’
Living a frugal life isn’t a crime; it’s an acceptable lifestyle with billionaires such as Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg are among people in James’ circle.
Remarkably, the athlete doled out a whooping $41.8 million to Ohio’s University of Akron in 2015. The cash donation made through his charity outfit, Lebron James Family Foundation, was to help pay for students scholarships.
“College is not over rated, he’s just got what my mom calls “good sense” they don’t teach that anywhere but at home,” someone wrote on Twitter.
“Just because you got money doesn’t mean you have to burn it on unnecessary things…,” another one tweeted.
“LeBron knows if you want to stay rich act broke lol,” added a Twitter user @TheRealCiTy.
In 2013, LeBron James led Miami Heats on a 27-game winning streak, the third longest in league history.