LeBron James is a money-making machine. Jeanie Buss always knew how much they would make off of signing the GOAT of this generation even if they didn’t win much.
Barely anything has happened the way it should for LeBron and his team in the last two years. The past season was as low as the Lakers could have gotten having The King and Anthony Davis still in their ranks, and then there was another Top-75 player of all time, Russell Westbrook.
Nothing worked for them throughout the season while AD struggled with injuries, Brodie suffered to attain the chemistry with the team, and LBJ, well, that man did his best to chase Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time list while happening to be the second-best scorer of 2021-22 season. That was also his career’s second-best offensive season as well.
Lakers suffered massively in all that, so much so that the 2020-21 season in which they got knocked out at the hands of the Suns in the first round of the Playoffs looks much more successful than this one. And if we bring in the revenue aspects into the picture, last season wasn’t a failure at all.
Jeanie Buss didn’t find it worth going over luxury tax in 2021-22 to assemble the best team for LeBron James when the Lakers were by far the best revenue-generating team of 2020-21.
Thanks to an NBA Redditor we came across the data from last year, which revealed how much all the NBA franchises made in the 2020-21 season. You would be surprised to know how much the then reigning NBA champions made despite a down season due to the injuries to LeBron and AD throughout the season.
On average, NBA franchises made $232.5 million in revenue. Meanwhile, the Purple and Gold Los Angeles team made $149 million with just a local TV contract.
The total revenue generated by the Lakers was a staggering $316 million, eighteen more than the second-placed Knicks (Surprise-surprise!) and $58 million more than the Warriors.
These payrolls are wild 😳💰
1. 2021-22 Warriors – $184M
2. 2020-21 Warriors – $175.8M
3. 2021-22 Nets – $172.8M
4. 2020-21 Nets – $168.6M
5. 2021-22 Clippers – $166.2M
6. 2021-22 Timberwolves – $165.7M
7. 2021-22 Lakers – $160.9M
8. 2020-21 Wizards – $160.8M
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 2, 2022
It seems odd for Jeanie Buss to save money on luxury tax when her franchise earns around $84 million more than an average club in the league. Letting Alex Caruso walk, who was just asking for $3 million/year more than their offer? Yikes.