Next, Vrooman factors in the Heats approximate total revenue $150 million last season, according to Forbes magazine. Vrooman contends that two-thirds of that money rightfully is owed to the players. (The owners would say otherwise. As a result of negotiations that ended the 2011 lockout, the NBA Players Association settled for a 50-50 split.)
Two-thirds of $150 million is $100 million and 31.5 percent of that (James win-share) is $31.5 million.
So [James] true economic value with the Heat is roughly equivalent to his current endorsement income of an estimated $33 million, Vrooman wrote in an email. [James] is paid about one-half of his worth to the Heat.
By comparison [Dwyane Wades] 2011-12 salary of $15.7 million is closer to his true value to the Heat of 7.7 win-shares, which converts to about $16.7 million last season.
His calculus doesnt factor in a players ticket-selling value, only his contribution to wins and losses on the court.
Putting aside the fantasy math, one former player has an easier way of determining James salary. On Friday in Houston, a collection of the games greats gathered to celebrate the Basketball Hall of Fames latest crop of finalists. Among them was Robert Horry, the legendary clutch shooter who won seven NBA championships with three different teams during his 16-year career.
Horry, now a television analyst for Time Warner Cables SportsNet on Los Angeles Lakers games, was emphatic.
[James] should be the highest paid player ever, Horry said. I think he should get that put into his contract, where he has always got to be the highest paid player ever.
He demands it. He deserves it. Hes so damn good.