Cavs Hoping Contract Year Will Inspire Lebron To Try Harder

The Cavaliers entered this season on a mission to finish what they started in 2009. In their quest for a title, they have one crucial factor working in their favor: Lebron James is in a contract year, which should inspire him to really go out there and be productive.
“Lebron, the whole league is watching,” said guard Mo Williams. “If you impress people this year, you cash in next year. That’s what I’ve been telling him, and I think it’s getting through. He knows his future is at stake here. I think he’s gonna turn it up a notch.”
Williams said he remembers his own contract year, in which he put forth maximum effort in every game.
“It was all out, every game trying to prove I was worth bank,” said Williams. “You’ve got to crank it up to 11 for the contract year. That’s when you make your money. For Lebron, he just has to remember that teams are going to pay him based on what he does this year. So what better way to impress them than to win a title? After that, I don’t think anyone can pay him less than the max contract.”
The results are already showing up on the floor. According to teammates, Lebron has displayed a renewed sense of purpose and a laser-like focus this season. Even his coach, Mike Brown, has noticed a difference.
“You can always tell when a guy is in his contract year because he just has that extra burst of energy every night,” said Brown. “That’s great for everybody. It’s making the whole team better. That being said, Lebron will get a max contract next year even if he takes the entire season off to go train with the Taliban.”
For his part, James denies being motivated by anything other than his burning desire to win a championship.
“I’m not trying any harder because it’s my contract year,” he said. “That’s ridiculous. I’ve been trying hard since day one. But coach is right. No matter what I do, I’m getting a max contract anyway and probably a chunk of whichever team signs me. So I’m not trying hard because it’s a contract year. I’m trying hard because I’m a warrior, man — and so I don’t reflect poorly on my corporate partners at Nike.”