Sun.Star Baguio

Crazy deals in NBA


MONEY has always been the language of choice in the NBA.

LeBron James is one example, the prime rib, actually.

He got nearly $90 million to play two more years for the Los Angeles Lakers in the world’s No. 1 basketball tournament.

He earned it.

James had just led the Lakers to their 17th championsh­ip. That tied L.A. with Boston for the alltime haul of crown collection.

For that, James won the MVP Finals, his fourth in as many Finals appearance­s that all produced NBA titles. The other three were with the Miami Heat (2) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (1).

Already bathed in many NBA firsts, James’ title triumph with the Lakers this year also made him the first to win plums in three different teams while also making him a rare crown catcher playing in both East (Miami & Cleveland) and West (L.A.) teams.

At 35, James doesn’t seem to show any leak in his faucet of power both from the knees and upper body juices. If he proceeds to win more titles till he reaches 37 summers—and even beyond?—I’ll be the least surprised. His conditioni­ng regimen, backstoppe­d by a diet he so religiousl­y follows, is but the envy of all.

But, wait a minute: With James’ already stupendous $44.5-million annual average take he had just signed with L. A., that amount was eclipsed by the contract between Giannis Antetokoum­po and the Milwaukee Bucks.

The towering two-time MVP Antetokoun­mpo, a sidewalk vendor of watches, imitation bags and sunglasses in Athens before Milwaukee signed him in 2013 as a 15th overall pick, will earn an annual $45.6M beginning this year. His five-year deal of $226M, which ESPN said was the biggest in NBA history, broke the previous mark of $206.8M struck between Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma in 2017.

Crazy, because “The Greek Freak” of almost 7 feet tall, has yet to give Milwaukee an NBA crown while being a Buck the last seven years.

Crazy, because Anthony Davis, 27, in only his L.A. debut, has already given the Lakers a title this year and yet, he got “only” $190M over the next five years.

“I’m blessed as part of Milwaukee for the next five years,” said Antetokoun­mpo, 26. “The show goes on.”

That’s prime rib talk, too.

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