LeBron James on owning NBA team: ‘No maybe about it’
LeBron James once admitted he’s chasing the “ghost” of Michael Jordan, and his pursuit of said so-called apparition will continue once his playing career is done.
Jordan, the principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets, may one day call James one of his colleagues, as the Los Angeles Lakers superstar recently doubled down on his previously stated goals of NBA ownership.
James articulated his post-playing career aspirations back in 2016 when he said it’s his “dream to actually own” an NBA team. Speaking with The Athletic’s Joe Vardon recently, James made it clear his resolve has only been strengthened.
“Ain’t no maybe about it, I’m going to do that s–t,” James said.
James without question already has the financial wherewithal at this stage in his life to be consider a legitimate, prospective owner of an NBA organization, although there’s no indication he’s about to hang up his sneakers anytime soon, even as he’s developing into Hollywood power player with his SpringHill Entertainment production company.
“What few realize is that LeBron, with the help of people he trusts the most, has been making maneuvers and preparations so that if he were to retire today, and an NBA franchise was for sale tomorrow, he could place a bid,” Vardon writes. “He not only has the finances to be a primary investor, but enough of the right people around him, and enough cache built in the league, to pull it off.”
James was tabbed by Forbes as the world’s sixth-highest-paid athlete of 2018, with $33.5 million earned in salary and $52 million in income generated from endorsements (with his estimated $1 billion lifetime deal with Nike generating a sizable portion of the latter).
The Lakers star came it at No. 11 in 2017 on Forbes’ highest-paid athletes of all-time list, with $730 million in career earnings at that point in time.
James also is becoming well-versed in the business, having purchased a two-percent stake in English soccer club Liverpool F.C. in 2011, an investment that has paid huge dividends.
In other words, neither finances nor desire will be an issue for James as far as potential team ownership is concerned.