What’s An Athlete To Do When It Comes To Rings Vs. Money?

Recently, NBA player Lebron James “shocked” the sports world by signing a new contract with his hometown, and nearly always mediocre, Cleveland Cavaliers. To do so, he ditched the Miami Heat, whom he had gone to the NBA Finals with the last four years – winning his first two NBA Finals of his professional career. While I won’t go into the absurdity that was ESPN’s LeBron free agency circus, to say that LeBron held the entire NBA in a waiting game would be an understatement.

While there is little to no doubt that LeBron’s focus is his legacy, he is also in the unique position of being a big enough celebrity that he will have endorsement, movie offers, and other revenue streams available him until the day he dies. He can make the “right” move of chasing championships and building his legacy.

However, guys like Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony aren’t in the same position.


Bosh and Anthony, like LeBron, were both in the positions of being unrestricted NBA free agents this summer. Any team that offered them a contract, they could have signed with – assuming of course, that cap space and contract negotiations all fell in to place. However, their home teams, Anthony’s New York Knicks and Bosh’s Miami Heat, both had an advantage over other teams in that they could offer a larger monetary contract. Anthony re-signed with New York for $122 million over five years, while Bosh re-upped for $118 million over five years in Miami.

However, both of those teams are, at best, mediocre. There is a good chance Bosh will never win another NBA championship, and unless Anthony gets a lot of help from the newly-hired Phil Jackson in New York, he very well might retire ring-less. Bosh passed up $88 million over four years with the Houston Rockets, which would have been a championship caliber team, and Anthony passed up an opportunity to sign for probably about $60 million over four years with the Chicago Bulls.

Which brings us to the question:

Rings Or Money?

What is the real alpha play in this situation?

It’s important to realize that both Anthony and Bosh are a step (or two) below LeBron’s level. They will never have the “global icon” and branding that he does. When their career is done, they will never again come close to the current level of income stream that they make playing professional basketball.

Frankly, I don’t blame them for taking the money. They both would have left a lot of money on the table had they signed with a new team.

Money Mismanagement

Don’t get me wrong, both of these guys should be in a position to live comfortably the rest of their lives. If I was handed a check for the extra $30 million Bosh got by re-signing with the Heat, I’d be retiring at the ripe age of 23 and never working another day in my life. The money shouldn’t matter to these basketball players, but it does.

It’s only natural that, when your income goes up, your lifestyle and amount of spending rises in conjunction. So sure, these players are raking in millions every year to play basketball, but their lifestyles are so extravagant, their wives so spoiled (looking at you, Melo), and expectations so high – they have no choice but to take the money.

Basketball Players Vs. Worker Bees

If you think about it, basketball players are not that much different than men who are stuck in their dreadful office job. They are slaves to their income stream. While they do differ in that worker bees report every day to make a few thousand dollars a paycheck, while players often make the average annual salary in a single game – the basketball players are forced to take the higher income contract because they need that income stream.

So while you might envy the ball players for their millions of dollars, lavish parties, and athletic abilities – you should realize that they are not that different. This shows in the attitudes and actions of players such as Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony.

They are just slaves to money, giving up their opportunities of hoisting championship banners just to make a few extra million. They fear the risk, they fear the failure. They are no different from the man stuck in the cubicle, wasting away – afraid to break the shackles and become a free man.

Maybe there isn’t so much to be envious of after all.

Read More: Learn To Be An Alpha From Athletes

55 thoughts on “What’s An Athlete To Do When It Comes To Rings Vs. Money?”

  1. Hmm. Interesting but I think this could have been fleshed out a bit – I was hoping for something longer. Also I don’t think anyone with the freedom to walk away from a job is a slave in that sense – although I suppose they’ve enslaved themselves to debts and women in another sense.

  2. Bosh, Wade, and James all took lower pay than they could have received to play together and compete for a championship. I can think of quite a few instances of myself and others I know not taking the highest paying position in order to work in a position perceived more rewarding. Of course, being financially secure before turning down the higher paying position makes that decision much easier.

    1. It’s also like turning down a nice comfy corporate position for the up-and-coming startup. The startup pays less initially, but it gives you the opportunity to possibly make history and/or accumulate a ton of money on the backend.

  3. Kind of interesting article. A good follow-up would be one on the destruction that American Football wrecks on the human body and how no amount of money can make up for the misery many of these guys experience in retirement. And of course this is hidden from the kids and parents drafted into this sport.

    1. Crazy thing is all those players in retirement , their bodies decimated, say they would do it again in a heartbeat.

      1. Once youve been at the top you will know that your life has been more worth living than upper middle class sure-bet life with good health. Once youve been at the top, youre the only one who has ever been one of the living, and everyone else is just a zombie.

      2. I guess they only have one frame of reference. Really though, for all the light that is shone on professional boxing it seems to me that American Football is far worse from a health perspective.

    2. Who’s kidding who here. The average football career is 5-10 years depending on position. In that time, they make more than most men will earn in 30 years.
      After that 30 years, the plumber, the soldier, the miner, and the ball-player will all have wrecked bodies, but only the ball player will have the mansion and the HBO special to cry and bitch about it.

    3. Not a football player, but at least equally as wrecked: Ask Ahnold if the drugs w/attendant later life health issues was worth it, versus the alternative of pumping gas for fat German tourists in Tirol for the entirety of his life…..

      1. You mean Arnold S? He has no worse health issues than the average man his age, probabaly less. And can you tell us about the former football player who has achieved his level of success?

    1. Being “serious” about following professional/college sports is about as beta as it gets. Sitting around with a bunch of guys watching other guys actually do something? The biggest betas are always those are are “serious” sports fans (and can name every stat of every player on their team; the mental capacity wasted there is pretty amazing).
      Playing sports is decidedly alpha, but, no guy has ever picked up a girl because he knows the difference between a TE and RB.

      1. there is more to life than picking up chicks…..most men would love to play sport professionally but guess what, they ain’t that good to play at the highest level.watching sports is what men do as a hobby….I see nothing wrong with it….as long as you don’t overdo it. usually men do this as something to chill after a day of hard work.

        1. watching a game, like watching a movie, not a problem so long as it remains as entertainment. When a passion for watching other men play a game becomes a defining characteristic, that’s no better than a woman who defines herself by her soap operas; even women don’t respect other women who do that shit.

        2. Dheeraj,
          I agree with you right up to the last part. The problem isn’t “watching sports”, it’s that most men who watch sports are so engrossed with it that every Sunday becomes “football day” or every night their basketball team plays, they can’t do anything but watch for 2-3 hours. There are a LOT more men that I know like this than the “casual watcher” who might watch football, but, if there’s a cool show on the History channel, would watch that instead.
          Male hobbies should not be “sit in front of the TV”. They should be “male” things. Play sports. Work around the house. Fix something. Change the oil. Ride your motorcycle/take your boat out. Masculine pursuits.
          Unfortunately, the most “masculine pursuit” that most men seem to be interested in is “watch other men do masculine things”. That’s sad.

        3. If watching other men play sports is pathetic, could you imagine sitting around watching Sons of Anarchy….? Or some lawyer show? Or, worst of all, Game of Thrones?
          Seriously, television IS opium for idiots. Nothing more. Sports is probably the only thing left that is better presented by mass broadcasting than any other channel. Every other area once served by TV is better served up online these days.

      2. You see the same thing in soccer, i’ll agree it’s entertaining but being borderline fanatic about it is a waste of time and energy.

    2. It’s a tale about how an income stream does not guarantee you happiness if you don’t have the right frame to deal with it. It’s not how much you earn, it’s how much you save. If these guys were saving significant amounts of money, they could afford to take the risks involved with lower contracts from better teams. Building a legacy can pay off after retirement in the form of endorsements. Instead these guys are going for the easy money that would be excessive to the average person but is required to maintain their unnecessarily extravagant lifestyles. Short term gain vs. delayed satisfaction, clouded by artificial need.

      1. It’s a tale about how an income stream does not guarantee you happiness if you don’t have the right frame to deal with it.

        Couldn’t the author have told the same tale with men who actually contribute to society?

        1. Actually people who contribute to society use many more factors than just 1 for major life choices.

  4. Would a really good team want Anthony? He’s the ultimate ball-hog non-team player. Between his salary, his attitude, and his paying style, he would be a liability to a good team. Alpha-dog on a shitty team is all he’ll ever be.

  5. Hey guys.
    There was an article yesterday or maybe the day before titled
    “3 Things I Learned After Discovering Red Pill Truths Late In Life”.
    In it the author says he brings girls home using the line “Do you want to come over and see my sock collection? I have over 100 socks”. I used that last night and brought a girl home… confirming that this ridiculous line actually works… She laughs at how dumb it is and then is like “ok i’ll come see your sock collection”.
    Anyways have a good day everyone.

        1. Or fuck, then later demonstrate how you jerk off in your socks to make her leave quicker.

  6. As Francis Underwood said: “Such a waste of talent. He chose money over power. In this town, a mistake nearly everyone makes. Money is the Mc-mansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries. I cannot respect someone who doesn’t see the difference”

    1. Fank was biased. Money is power. The lobbyist he spoke of had even more power than he had working with Frank. He spoke to Frank not as a boss, but as an equal and in some cases as a superior. He chose power. The power of billions of dollars backing your play.

  7. “They are no different from the man stuck in the cubicle, casting away – afraid to break the shackles and become a free man”.
    I have to disagree with you completely on that point Trouble.Maker. Firstly what shackles are you talking about? These individuals are signing six to seven figure contracts and endorsement deals for doing something that they love. Secondly, its obvious that basketball is dominated by African Americans and its no secret that a significant number of african americans come from a low socio-economic backgrounds. So obviously the money will always be attractive.
    “If I was handed a check for the extra $30 million Bosh got by re-signing with the Heat, I’d be retiring at the ripe age of 23 and never working another day in my life.” Thats like telling an singer/rapper he should stop what he’s doing after their record goes multi-platinum. e.g Michael Jackson, Eminem etc.
    “The money shouldn’t matter to these basketball players, but it does.” Obviously, its PROFESSIONAL sports. Thats their bread and butter.
    A very self-explanatory title.

    1. You missed the point. He’s not telling them to stop. He’s saying they’re going for the guaranteed money instead of taking a risk because they’re most likely spending to match their income stream. While the guys mentioned may never be LeBron, winning championships gives a player more chances to make money, even into retirement. They’re avoiding risk they could easily afford to take IF they were not spending money as fast as they make it.

  8. Basketball lacks affirmative action to the detriment of the team. Surely putting more women in key positions would help with their lateral thinking skills, teamwork and ability to win rings.

    1. They would make the strike zone from the bottom of the breasts to the top of their FUPA. Needless to say, American women would have high on base percentages.

    2. Since Dennis Rodman stopped playing there is a lack of transgender women of color. Affirmative action would put whites in basketball also.

  9. One of the truths about money is that the ones who don’t have enough of it often know how to use it, and the ones who have enough it, often don’t know how to use it.

  10. People with that much money either manage it effectively or see it dwindle. When you have 100 million dollars, 50 million either way isn’t that big a deal compared to how you spend it.
    Neither play is inherently more ‘alpha’ than the other. What is alpha depends on how the individual involved decides between a ‘legacy’ or building an even bigger cash pile for the 0 to 90 years they will live after their career ends.
    If they decide on money because their wife wants it, that’s beta.
    If they try to build a legacy but go about it stupidly, that’s beta.
    If you can build the legacy you want and be happy with the reduced income, then that is alpha.
    If you care only about the money and care only about building a ‘personal legacy’ that involves doing the best you can wherever you end up because you prefer money, then that is alpha.

  11. A slew of immensely dogshit articles lately…step it up guys.
    What’s next an article on how to game in fracking fields or best way to conceal a herpes outbreak?

    1. Hahah! I know man, what the hell happened?! it’s been a bit of a dry spell lately.

    2. Heh. On the front page now: how to remove genital warts with apple cider vinegar. So I guess your “herpes outbreak” guess was pretty spot on.

  12. I don’t follow this crap but I was stopped cold in my tracks when I heard on CNN that a grown ass man hosting a radio show in Cleveland was in tears upon hearing the news that Lebron was coming back to Cleveland. I felt so embarrassed for this guy. He must have absolutely nothing, zilch going on in his life to cry like a little girl and react like that. SMH.

  13. A big point not covered is the benefit of being around your home area. You know your way around, local customs, & have family/friends in place. Michael Vic is a perfect example since he grew up in an area where the cops would bet on dog fights, and then moved to manginaville where cops are not happy when you say “yea I am holding dog fights, what’s your problem” like we would to a noise complaint on a Saturday night.

  14. All I really took away here is that I live in a country where, next to not getting laid, an office drone’s favorite pastime is watching former hood-rats play what should be a game for children.
    If it doesn’t involve ME getting several million dollars, there are some things I just cannot be convinced to give a frenchman’s fuck about; top of the list is the subtle nuances of a would-be felon being traded to play in this or that urban shit-hole.

  15. I’ll never understand d why grown men care about mandango field niggers who p,any with balls

  16. Lebron was just running away from a 54 win team that was riding him 40 minutes a night, shortening his career, and wasn’t going to win anymore after Wade’s knees gave out. The team didn’t have the money to play three superstars anymore, and Wade isn’t one anymore.
    The Media never liked Miami as a rival to New York or LA, and is rewarding Lebron for telling them what they would like to hear.
    Bosh was taking the money, but sticking with Pat Riley is probably a better career move than heading to Houston to play with the Joker and a SG who doesn’t play defense.
    Carmelo probably would have bolted for the chance to play with Lebron. But, you don’t turn down money to finish in 4th place instead of 13th place, you turn down money to win.

  17. Chris Bosh may be the most overpaid human being to ever exist. He is a mid-tier player at best.

  18. “Break the shackles and become a free man” how, by being a hippie? Rejecting capitalist constraints? What? Pressure from your social group (other millionaire basketball players) will be the same. I’d do it, though.

  19. Article full of flaws.
    If Chris Bosh would have went to the Rockets, he would be the 3rd option in Houston, after D12 and Harden. On Miami, he is the 1st option as Wade is now 34 and can’t play a full season while Bosh is in his prime. So the question is, should Bosh be the “man” on the Heat, or go to possible title contenders (rockets) and ring chase like a beta, while taking less money? You exposed yourself as beta when you said he’s a “slave” to the money and he should go to the Rockets. Which superstar jumps from team to team to win rings?
    Same with Melo. He could either be the “man” on the Knicks, or go play sidekick on the Bulls with Derrick Rose. What do you think would be better for his legacy, bringing New York their first ring in 40 years as the leader of the team, or playing the second option on the Bulls and maybe winning 1 or 2 rings?
    Both made alpha decisions, and they already make millions off endorsements, which will continue even after they retire. You honestly managed to convince yourself that their life was SO lavish that they HAD to take more money or they wouldn’t be able to live the same? Like Melo taking 60 mil would have forced him to move into a smaller house and go to less expensive clubs hahaha. RoK writers…..

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