Whether it’s the estimated $125 million James would receive if he stayed with the Cavaliers or the estimated $96 million he would get from (fill in the rumored destination of the day here), it pales in comparison to his true worth for an organization.
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James’ impact in Cleveland has been felt on and off the court since his arrival in the NBA in 2003.
According to Forbes magazine, during James’ seven years in Cleveland, he increased the team’s market value by roughly $100 million. Today, the Cavaliers are worth $476 million.
If James pulls an Art Modell, packs up his things and leaves Cleveland in the middle, that organization is once again irrelevant in the NBA. Not since Michael Jordan retirement(s) has one player had such an impact on the livelihood of a franchise.