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“I don’t know if it was anything specific,” said Ryan Howard, first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies. “But it suddenly occurred to me that $125 million, even spread over five years, was just silly.”
At the time Mr. Howard was sitting at the wheel of his fabulously expensive car, killing time before traveling to the preposterously luxurious restaurant which he had reserved for himself and several of his friends.
“Look,” he continued, “who could possibly need more than, say, $20 million per annum? Even if all I ever thought about was how to spend a lot of money, even after taxes and my agent’s cut, I’m pretty sure $20 million would cover me.”
When he learned of Mr. Howard’s comments, Lebron James had an epiphany.
“My mom has a nice house now,” he said. “The $40 million plus I make each year – I think it’s around that… maybe’s it’s more by now…anyway, you can’t have everything, right? Like that comedian said, ‘Where would you put it?’ So why do I need to have enough money to buy everything?
Now, my agent says that the dollars, that’s how they measure who’s the best, so I get the most money, but, man, I’m secure enough so that I don’t need that sort of validation. I’m going to call the Cleveland front office and tell ‘em to save some of their money for the rainy day when I leave to play somewhere else.”
When word of these curious developments began spreading throughout the community of professional sports, other counties were heard from.
With one voice, former Los Angeles Lakers teammates Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, each of whom is paid in excess of thirty five million dollars each season, announced that they felt like frauds.
“Sure, we’re good at basketball,” Mr. O’Neal said.
“Yeah, well, you used to be good at it,” said Mr. Bryant.
“Always the kidder,” Mr. O’Neal said with a big grin. “Anyway, after we’ve put away the first couple hundred million, maybe we ought to test the proposition that we love the game so much, we’d play it for free.”
“Right,” said Mr. Bryant. “Or maybe for ten million. I mean, you don’t want to go cold turkey.”
“Who’s a turkey?” asked Mr. O’Neal, and they both laughed.
Then, perhaps just before the chorus from Goldman Sachs could chime in, I woke up.
This program aired on April 29, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.
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