The Mathematics of Lebron James

Lebron James’ free-agency is attracting a great deal of media and fan attention.  Several NBA teams are going to extreme lengths to convince the basketball phenom to sign with their team.

The New York Knicks’ approach is especially interesting.  They ran 50,000 computer models of a Lebron James career, using about 200 variables.  The result?  James has a 50% chance of earning $1 billion in his career if he plays for NY.  He has only a 1% chance of such an income if he signs with Cleveland or Chicago, and a 0% chance if he signs with Miami. (Source)

So if Lebron signs with NY, does the mathematician(s) behind this get a bonus?

UPDATED July 8, 2010:  Something the Knicks may have neglected to include in their presentation–New York has the highest city and state tax rates in the country:  12.85% (does not include federal taxes).  Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, so perhaps Lebron will find Miami more attractive.

It makes a difference.  If Lebron were to earn $96 million over five years as expected, his STATE tax bill alone would be $12.34 million in NY, $10.32 million in New Jersey, $5.69 million in Cleveland, and $0 in Florida.  (Source)

Will Atlas shrug?  We’ll find out tonight.


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