LeBron James is more worried about winning than being the NBA's highest-paid player.
At least that's what he told reporters in Indianapolis after a shootaround in preparation for Friday night's game against the Pacers.
When James left Cleveland for Miami in 2010, he took less money in order to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in hopes of winning a title, which the Heat accomplished last season.
James, who is making $17.5 million this season, said the NBA's salary-cap rules keep him from being paid his true worth. His salary is tied for 13th highest among NBA players, well short of the $27.8 million annual haul by Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.
"What I do on the floor shows my value," James said, according to ESPN.com. "At the end of the day, I don't think my value on the floor can really be compensated for, anyways.
"If you want the truth. If this was baseball (without a salary cap), it'd be up, I mean way up there."
James went on to say he doesn't get credit for playing without a max contract.
"That's a story untold," he said. "Financially, I'll sacrifice for the team. It shows for some of the top guys, it isn't all about money. That's the genuine side of this, it's about winning. I understand that."
Bosh's 17.5 million contract matches James' this year. Wade earns slightly less at $17.1 million.
But Wade wasn't talking about money on Friday with James. As the Eastern Conference captain for the NBA All-Star Game, Wade is trying to coax James into taking part in the slam-dunk and 3-point shooting contests later this month in Houston.
"Oh no, that's out," James said of the dunk contest.
But James hasn't ruled out the 3-point shootout.