NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — LeBron James is paid an average of $23.5 million a year by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he is worth every penny.
The team delivered their hometown its first sports championship in 52 years on Sunday. And James led the way with a triple double — scoring 27 points, to go with 11 assists and 11 rebounds. He also made a key block in the closing moments of the game. He was unanimously named MVP of the NBA finals.
And CNNMoney’s Player ROI, which compares on-court performance to player salary, confirms that Cleveland got its money worth out of James’ top tier salary.
James ended up with a Earned Their Keep ranking, both in the final game and throughout the playoffs. That’s much better than his ranking throughout the regular season, when ROI ranked him as “overpaid” in comparison to other players.
By comparison, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was ranked a Good bargain throughout the regular season, when he was the unanimous choice for Most Valuable Player while leading his team to a record 73 wins.
But in the final game it was Curry who was ranked as overpaid, even though he’s paid about half of James’ salary. Curry was limited to 17 points, 2 assists and 5 rebounds.