Maybe LeBron James really does only care about winning, because if he cares about his money or his image, he’s made a really big mistake. LeBron’s Q rating, which measures how many people know and favorably view a person, was a stratospheric 34 until the decision to leave Cleveland for Miami, but you can expect it to plummet, writes Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com. In an unscientific SI.com poll, 61% said they’d once had a positive opinion of LeBron but had changed their minds.
LeBron could turn that around a bit by winning, but expectations in Miami “may rival those of the 1992 Dream Team,” theorizes Silver, meaning one championship won’t be enough. Brett Favre’s Q rating dipped 41% after his retirement/unretirement drama in 2008-09. Assuming LeBron takes a similar hit, and assuming his sponsorship money falls proportionately, Silver calculates that the deal will cost LeBron $150 million over the life of the contract.