It was buried away in a larger story about how the Heat plan on attempting to lure Carmelo Anthony to join their Big Three, but Brian Windhorst unveiled a fascinating tidbit: LeBron James' "small stake" in Dr. Dre's headphone company, Beats Electronics, turned into over $30 million when the rap mogul sold his company to Apple.
For comparison, James only makes $19 million per year from his salary with the Heat. You know, ONLY $19 million, more than any of us will ever see in our lives.
It's believed to be the largest such payout for an athlete in history. Darren Rovell tweeted that David Wright's stake in Vitamin Water, reported to be about $20 million, was actually much less, so this payday might not even really have any competition.
The larger story, though, is about James' big cash dump changes the way the Heat can finance potential additions to their team. James is a 10-time all-star, four-time MVP, two-time champion, and two-time Finals MVP, and still has never been the highest-paid player on his team. And he doesn't have to be: his off-court earnings make his actual salary somewhat irrelevant. He can afford to take less money, and allow his team to fit in other quality players under the league-mandated salary cap. And the more his team wins, the more he'll be worth to potential endorsers, now and in the future.
Of course, that's not to say James should or will pass up money from the Heat -- his career won't last forever -- but he's shown a willingness to do so in past, and his financial situation has only gotten much, much more secure since the last time he signed a contract.
Everything's coming up LeBron James -- well, except for the whole, "being down 2-1 in the Finals" thing.