LeBron James on new TV deal: Make sure players are taken care of

LeBron James on new NBA TV deal: Owners crying poor 'will not fly with us this time'
Tuesday October 7th, 2014

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James is happy that the NBA negotiated a new television rights deal that will pay the league more the $2 billion each year, but says when it is time to re-new the collective bargaining agreement, the players will need to be taken care of.

The league and the players association can opt out of the current CBA after the 2016-17 season and James says that both sides need to get to the bargaining table as soon as possible.

In the 2011 lockout, which lasted almost six months, nearly three-fourths of the owners said they were losing money. The players accepted a deal giving them 50 percent of the annual revenue generated by the league.

“The whole thing that went on with the last negotiation process was the owners was telling us that they were losing money,” James said, according to ESPN.com. “There's no way they can sit in front of us and tell us that right now."

James mentioned how some of the NBA franchises, including the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers, recently sold for record amounts of money.

"I am kind of the guy that has the power, I guess, without even having to put a name on it," James said."I'm very educated and I will use what I have to make sure our players are taken care of."

With the talks of a new deal looming, James signed a two-year, $42.1 million deal with Cleveland in the offseason instead of taking a max contract that could have paid him up to $88 million over four years. 

"It was being a businessman," James said. "I understand the business of this sport. It had a lot to do with it."

- Scooby Axson

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.