Nestled within the results of a new joint lifestyle survey conducted by Yahoo! Finance and Fitness magazine is an interesting little NBA nugget. Asked to identify people who make way more money than they deserve, nearly a quarter of survey respondents picked LeBron James.
In addition to questions about monthly finances, planned uses for tax refunds, spending preferences and how money impacts relationships, 2,000 Americans were asked, "Who do you think makes way more money than she/he deserves to?" The most popular choice was mom-and-wife-to-be Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of "Jersey Shore" fame, picked by 51 percent of those surveyed. She was followed closely by Kim Kardashian (45 percent), with whom we are all very familiar.
There's a big gap after the two reality stars — the third-most popular answer didn't get even a quarter of respondents' votes — but James is No. 3 on the list. Twenty-four percent of the 2,000 people surveyed said the Miami Heat superstar and two-time league Most Valuable Player gets paid more money than he deserves.
The view on James was pretty consistent across age groups, with 24 percent of respondents in both the 18-34 and 35-54 demographics calling him overpaid, and 25 percent of participants 55 and older agreeing. The only real differential came in the gender split — 27 percent of men said they think LeBron is overpaid, compared to 21 percent of women. (The data wasn't broken down along racial/ethnic lines; a Y! consumer communications spokesperson told me that only age and gender get analyzed in these surveys.)
The results make sense in real-world terms, of course — most people would likely argue that nobody "deserves" to make $16 million a year to do anything, let alone play a sport as a job. That, of course, to some degree trivializes not only the incredible amount of work that NBA players do, but also the value of the natural talent they must have to reach and remain at the highest level of their chosen profession, but still, it makes sense.
It also shows just how large a chasm exists between the "real world" and the world of the NBA. Because in the latter, if anything, LeBron James is underpaid.Read More »from America thinks LeBron James is more overpaid than anybody but Snooki and Kim Kardashian