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Report: Knicks Tell LeBron James He Could Be A Billionaire If He Came To New York

Forbes stunned the NBA world yesterday with a pretty crazy scoop, securing a copy of the Knicks presentation to LeBron James. The main selling point? LeBron could become richer in New York than in any other city.

The Knicks just finished pitching LeBron James. Their main selling point: You could make a billion dollars playing in New York. You can't earn anything close to that anywhere else.

To make the case, they commissioned a study from marketing consultant Interbrand that says LeBron could earn close to $1 billion over his lifetime in salary and endorsements if he makes Madison Square Garden his permanent home--their high-end estimate sees him earning as much as $2 billion. That outshines the estimated $700 million he'd likely earn in Cleveland, the $690 million in Chicago, and $600 million in Miami.

A copy of Interbrand's PowerPoint presentation can be found at that link. CBS Sports' Matt Moore breaks down each of the 15 slides here

It's a pretty ingenious plan by the Knicks, and one they probably had to make. That said, there's also reason to be skeptical of Interbrand's findings. CNBC's Darren Rovell, for example, openly mocked the presentation in a series of tweets.

Knicks tell LeBron he can earn $1B+ by going to NY. What it proves? Pay a firm (InterBrand) enough $, they'll justify a #.    

Key to the bogus InterBrand LeBron study? They ASSUME he'll play for the Knicks for the next 13 years.    

The New York Times' Howard Beck adds this:

Also, study compares NY to Chi, Mia and Cleve, but makes no mention of what LeBron would make playing Newark/Brooklyn