Did saving $25 million in taxes fuel LeBron James' Miami Heat pick?

LeBron James Miami heat
LeBron James Miami heat

There were a million reasons for LeBron James to join the Miami Heat: Pat Riley has a track record of winning; the combination of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh is thought to be unstoppable and South Beach is just the kind of scene that James feels he deserves. But what about those millions of other reasons -- the tax dollars he wouldn't have to spend?

Under the National Basketball Association (NBA) rules, there is a salary cap subject to a complicated set of rules and exceptions. The actual cap changes from year to year based on a number of factors, including the amount of revenue generated by the NBA in the prior year. For the 2010-2011 season, the cap is $58,044,000.

The whole idea behind the cap is to restrict the amount of money that teams in bigger markets (think New York and Los Angeles) can spend on players without paying a luxury tax. The result is that the playing field for teams in smaller markets (think Minnesota and Portland) is made relatively level.

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