The Lakers' Antawn Jamison Puts Winning Over Money in a Major Way - Fan's Take

After Earning $140 Million in His Career, Antawn Jamison's $1.4 Million Contract Proves it Really Wasn't Just About the Money

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At least for one NBA player, it really wasn't about the money.

After earning $140 million in his 14-year career, Antawn Jamison signed a veteran's minimum contract with the Los Angeles Lakers for just $1.4 million, putting winning over money.

It's Always About the Money

As an NBA fan I have become cynical every time I hear players say "it's not about the money, it's about respect."

With NBA players it's always about the money. Always.

And I don't blame this for this, either. They have one shot to earn tremendous sums of money, and I tip my cap to them for getting every penny they can in the open market. Most of us would make the same decisions with our careers.

But Antawn Jamison proved to be the rare exception.

With at least a 35% federal income tax and 10.3% California state income tax, Jamison will likely take home around $770,000 next year.

For a man who has earned $140 million in salary, this is chump change. Jamison is basically working for his version of minimum wage for the chance to win a title with the Lakers.

Jamison Had Value on the Open Market

At 36-years-old, Antawn Jamison was not going to get a max contract, obviously. But he also could have done much better than one-year, $1.4 million.

Consider this: Over the last two seasons (2011 & 2012) only 18 players matched Antawn Jamison's totals in points (2,128), rebounds (783), and assists (224). Many of the other guys on the list are All-Stars.

So how much more could Antawn Jamison have earned if it was all about the money?

In reality, who knows? But a two-year deal totaling $6-$9 million is not out of the question for a player with his productivity.

Following Karl Malone's Footsteps

As a Lakers fan I have seen this happen before. As I have previously written, Karl Malone signed a veteran's minimum $1.5 million deal with the Lakers in 2004.

In many ways the 2013 Lakers team remind me of the 2004 team which signed Malone and Gary Payton to chase another title for Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, and Phil Jackson. Jamison is this year's Malone. Steve Nash is the 2012 version of Gary Payton.

All Lakers fans remember what happened in 2004 - Malone got hurt, Payton struggled, and the Lakers lost to the Detroit Pistons 4-1 in the NBA Finals.

As a Lakers fan I hope 2013 turns out differently than 2004 and Antawn Jamison is rewarded for putting winning over a paycheck.

At least with one player, it finally wasn't about the money.

Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Lakers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check these out articles:

Why the Lakers Should Not Give Andrew Bynum $100 Million

Top Five Lakers Playoff Moments in the Kobe Era

Kobe Bryant's Top-5 Most Ridiculous Box Scores

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