From their Planet Money podcast. http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/02/12/275922026/episode-427-lebron-james-is-underpaid They make a credible argument about how NBA salary caps and "reverse" draft (i.e. collusion) keeps overhead down for owners and allows for small-market teams to compete which keeps a larger population of fans interested and therefore bigger endorsement dollars for stars like Kobe and LeBron. Endorsement dollars make up a far larger portion of their income than their NBA income. Which is all nice and tidy from the American perspective. But what about soccer? The best players can go to the highest bidders and despite only a few teams winning everything there is undeniable fan interest and the stars still get massive endorsement deals.