What would it take to bring James to Europe?

» August 7, 2008 8:52 AM | By Brandon Hoffman

“In the next 15 or 20 years, I hope I’ll be the richest man in the world. That’s one of my goals. I want to be a billionaire. I want to get to a position where generation on generation don’t have to worry about nothing. I don’t want family members from my kids to my son’s kids to never have to worry. And I can’t do that now just playing basketball.” – LeBron James

Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reported that James would consider playing in Europe if he was offered a salary of “around $50 million a year.”

Asked to comment on Broussard’s story, a representative from the players’ association said, “he (James) wouldn’t be able to accomplish over there the things that he wants to do over here, which are to win NBA championships, MVP awards, etc.”

But is that what James really wants to accomplish?

I’m not so sure.  James is the most talented player I’ve ever seen.  And he’s improved over his five-year career.  But I’m not convinced that his improvement has been the result of countless hours spent in the gym.  I’m not convinced he wants to be the best player ever.  Instead, I think most of his improvement has arisen from his physical maturation and the experience he’s gained from playing in 437 regular season and playoff games.

James earns an estimated $40,455,000 dollars per year in NBA salary and endorsements.  After taxes, LeBron nets roughly half of that amount in the US.  But $50 million earned in the Euroleague is largely tax-free.

Even more enticing to James has to be the revelation that Earl Boykins’ recently signed contract with Italy’s Virtus Bologna includes income from Bologna’s sponsorship and marketing arms.  Due to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, this sort of arrangement is off-limits in the NBA.  But it’s exactly what LeBron James Inc. is looking for.

James is right, he won’t become a billionaire by playing basketball.  So he and his management team have begun to look for more than endorsement dollars, they’re now interested in equity stakes in the companies LeBron lends his name to.

What if the owners of CSKA Moscow or Olympiacos — the two teams reported to have contacted James — offered him equity stakes in the teams and/or outside business ventures they accumulated their billions in, in addition to his playing salary?

An equity stake in a billion dollar business would pay dividends long after James called it quits on the hardwood.  And it would inch James closer to his stated goal of becoming the richest man in the world.

If the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement allowed it, you can bet that James would negotiate an ownership percentage in the Cavs, or the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets, or the New York Knicks.  Any discussions between James and Olympiacos or CSKA Moscow will begin with what the Euroleague can offer that the NBA cannot.

Upon reading Broussard’s report, I quickly dismissed the chance of James spurning the NBA in favor of the Euroleague.  But the possibilities are endless.

If Euro teams start throwing out scenarios involving ownership percentages and stock options, LeBron James is as good as gone.


36 Responses to “What would it take to bring James to Europe?”

  1. J-Dizzle Says:

    It doesn’t matter what Lebron accomplishes in Europe even if he decides to leave for $50 million.

    If he doesn’t win a title in the NBA, his legacy will be shortlived.

    On the flip side, if he wins one or two in the NBA and another one in Europe, he could possibly go down as the greatest basketball players of all time in the world. Literally.

    You can’t fault the man for wanting to be rich. All of us would do the same thing.

  2. Erick Says:

    I wonder if he’d make as much money in endorsements if he plays overseas. Americans might view him as a traitor if he decides to play in Europe, which might hurt his image in the States in terms of marketing and branding himself.

  3. CL Says:

    LBJ would be bored in Europe. The level of competition isn’t close to the NBA in the USA. This isn’t like when a soccer player goes to play in the Euro League. There an American soccer player has to earn his spot, but an American b-baller?? Not so much…

  4. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    J-Dizzle – I wouldn’t fault James for taking the opportunity to expand his brand globally and return before he hits his prime. If that’s where James’ priorities lie, so be it.

    Erick – James wouldn’t earn less from endorsements. In fact, there’s a slight chance that his endorsement income could increase. I’m sure you’ve heard about the currency exchange rates and how the Euro is worth more than the dollar. Well, that benefits Nike just as much as it does James. Meaning, Nike profits more from European sales than they do from sales in the US.

    CL – Welcome. The NBA is the highest level of basketball in the world. But it’s not as if the Euroleague is filled with amateurs. A more team-centric, defense-oriented league, could aid in James’ individual development.

  5. Matt W. Says:

    Maybe he wouldn’t have to pay taxes on the $50 million in Europe, but unless he renounces his US citizenship, I’m almost certain he’d still have to give Uncle Sam his cut. I don’t know if that changes anything, I’m just saying …

  6. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Hey Matt,

    Here is how the “tax-free” Euro contract works, as reported by Lang Whitaker of SLAM:

    http://slamonline.com/online/2008/07/links-dollars-and-sense/

    Lang: “One thing we’ve talked a lot about is contracts in Europe being tax-free, or the team pays the tax. How does that work?”

    TANNER (Childress’ agent): “The way it works is that the team pays the tax in that jurisdiction, and then at the end of the year they issue a certificate to the player that he can then apply against US taxes. Depending on where he’s playing overseas, that would dictate how much tax is paid on his behalf, and then depending on where his state of residence is in the US, that dictates how much of an offset that overseas tax would make against his US taxes. A player is still responsible for his domestic taxes, both federal and state, but he gets to offset those taxes against what’s been paid for him overseas.”

    So Euroleague deals aren’t entirely tax-free and we probably won’t find out what percentage of Childress’ domestic taxes are “offset” until next year. But I think it’s fair to assume that the percentage is fairly large.

  7. J-Dizzle Says:

    In addition to any kind of tax “offset” James may incur, another huge benefit for him taking $50 million is that he doesn’t need to pay the customary 4-10% cut to his agent. The Euro club pays it. Therefore, James gets to keep pretty much ALL his money.

    Maybe player-agent Ron Artest should’ve gone to Europe instead.

  8. Jeffrox Says:

    Hi Brandon! I’m not very knowleageble about this but here’s my two-cent worth of analysis.

    Let me analyse first the possibility of a substantial offer before I go to LeBron.

    First off, the credible presence of such substantial offer. How much substantial is substantial? Hmm… pretty tough to fathom out. I’ve virtually no idea about basketball in Europe. I’m from the poor but basketball-loving nation of the Philippines and just recently (Mar 2008) resided in the football-crazy UK. My five-month stay so far does not make me a UK-authority of sports but this I can tell you: NBA coverage is poor here. NBA results complete with game highlights can command substantial space if not headlined in the sports section of most Philippine broadsheets and tabloids but if UK newspapers ever managed to publish NBA game results, it can usually be found in the inside pages the size of an ordinary obituary placement. tsk! tsk! I have other observations but it all point to the same thing. Now, I have not been to any other European nation but the UK situation likely parallels the attention the NBA attracts elsewhere in this continent. So, to say that a European team could offer a substantial amount far greater than what a highly prized NBA player could get in the US is improbable for now. Im not totally saying it’s implausible. It’s like comparing the chance of Chicago to nail the top pick in the 2008 draft.

    Also, why would a European team put all its eggs in one basket when everyone knows that one Lebron in a team does not equate to a championship? The Spurs clearly showed us that. Europe has already caught up with the US in terms of team play. Last I researched, the USA was FIBA world champion in 1994 and Olympic champ in 2000. The Cavaliers with Lebron at the helm is not even considered a serious title contender in spite of having reached the 2007 NBA finals and played the 2008 NBA champ Celtics one more game than the vaunted Laker squad in a 7-game series. In other words, any sane person would notice that having Lebron does not necessarily magnify your chance by a hundred-fold. So after practically spending everything to lure Lebron out of the NBA, what is there left to pay the other players? Even the NBA team billionaire-owners limit how much to ‘overspend’. Lebron might end up owning a bankrupt team in the process assuming they offer him part team ownership on top of an enormous salary.

    Next, let’s try to get into Lebron’s mind. Judging from Lebron’s money-related statements, it’s as if we can easily typecast him into the “mercenary-type” rather than the more publicly-appealing “missionary-type”. But it’s easier for us to predict than what Lebron has to go through if he would be concretely offered by a European team an amount considerably larger than what he thinks he would just naturally earn playing in the NBA. Sometimes, big words from big people are just words that common people like you and me just has to simply ignore. They don’t mean a thing. Most of the times, when a person decides on something, it’s not based on one factor. Multiple factors contribute to a decision. And sometimes with no clear swing factor. Let me enumerate these factors:

    Is it for the money alone? If there’s an offer, it could be greater that what he could earn in the USA but it’s unlikely to be anywhere near the $20-30M on top of his total net US income. Would Nike pay him as much if he plays in Europe? I can only guess that Nike’s biggest market for its basketball shoes is in the US. And Lebron gets full exposure playing in the NBA. hmmm.. I wonder how much would that translate to actual sales and money (or losses). British sports shoe brands rarely make basketball shoes if they ever do make one. That certainly tells of the kind of market in this part of Europe has which obviously is not basketball. The USA is still the lucrative basketball market.

    How about his legacy? Leaving without even solidifying his status yet among the all-time elite cagers? How many have heard of Dominique Wilkins after he left for Europe? Sure, you can argue Wilkins was past his prime then but he would not have faded faster had he stayed in the NBA. Okay, put it another way. If you don’t win a NBA ring, a lot of people will put question marks on your name. To a basketballer, the NBA finals is worth millions and the NBA championship is a priceless legacy. Had the Lakers won the 2008 NBA finals, James Posey would have not been the sought-after guy that he became. Paul Pierce would have been sulking for the nth time but instead, he’s now proudly claiming to be the best cager in the world. Instead of hearing Sam Cassell as pathetically old, we were engulfed by stories about the Lakers’ perceived poor defense. Strange that three series before the finals, the Lakers were bulldozing everyone on its path while the Celtics were struggling to contain mediocre teams. The NBA can bring the ‘perception’ (arguable) of greatness and prestige. Until Lebron gets one or more than one, he can just settle himself with the company of Ewing, Barkley, Stockton, etc. The NBA is still the premier basketball league.

    Home away from home? Family, relatives and friends? culture? Environment? while these are marginal factors one of which could eventually end up as the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  9. Jeffrox Says:

    what i meant was “Until Lebron gets one ring or more than one he can just settle himself with the company of Ewing, Barkley, Stockton, etc”.

    when I wrote it, there were only three comments. Now there are eight this excluded.

    Gotta go and gotta sleep.

  10. Chukaz Says:

    It would be stupid for LeBron to leave and it would be stupid for a team to pay him 50 mil per season. Europe does have taxes, but the team pays for the taxes, meaning they negotiate a net imcome. Josh Childres signed for 20 million net, and his team will have to pay 12 million dollars in taxes over the next 3 years if he plays out his entire contract. If LeBron got 40 million per season his team would have to pay 24 million dollars extra in taxes, which mean that they would be spending 64 million dollars on him per season. If you do the math, on a 50 million per season contract his team would have to pay something 570,000 dollars in taxes per every million LeBron made. The team would have to spend about 78 and a half million PER SEASON. Team in europe might not have a salary cap, but they do have calculators.

  11. Chukaz Says:

    BTW, Teams in Europe usually loose money and owners spend money to bring honor to their cities (or at least that’s what I heard). Josh Childres got the most lucrative contract in European basketball history. Josh Childres. Are you kidding me? And it’s not like when NBA players sign really lucrative contracts that pay them about 20 mil per season over 6 years. He is getting something like 6 and a third millions per season. BTW, he would have made about the same if he signed for the mid level exeption in the NBA because he is gonna have to pay taxes to the United States if and when he decides to come back.

  12. DownsA529 Says:

    In the end, LeBron would be better served staying in America, where the shortcomings in his game are largely overlooked. In Europe, they will get on your butt if you can’t play an all-around game (i.e. shoot, pass, lead, play D, etc.) and James hasn’t mastered all of those aspects. And no European basketball team could (unless I get figures that support it) pay $50 million to one player. All this is to me is LeBron being LeBron, and just a bunch of hot air.

  13. Intense Lower Chafing Says:

    “In the next 15 or 20 years, I hope I’ll be the richest man in the world…I don’t want family members from my kids to my son’s kids to never have to worry…” – LeBron James

    Say wuh? In other words, he wants his kids and son’s kids (as opposed to his “grandchildren”…) to actually worry on occasion.

    That’s not necessarily what you wouldn’t expect a billionaire to avoid doing to his not-so-rich relatives, but I can’t say that I’m not surprised by such nonsense, on the other hand.

  14. Kareem Says:

    LeBron in Moscow? It’s an entertaining idea, but I don’t think it is in the cards. A stake in club ownership is a very interesting proposition for a player such as James, but it is a bridge yet passed, and still very far away by my estimation.

    I think that similar concept that apply to Kobe Bryant apply here. Mainly: should these players be making as much as the owners, or, more directly, should these players double as businessmen.

    The James Ownership Proposition (JOP) tampers with some of the set in stone working roles functioning in a basketball team, any team, really. First, there are owners and there are players. The players are laborers and the owners are capital investors (thus risk takers) and (questionably) primary movers within the organization. The JOP crosses this line, as James is now a worker and an owner–his investment and ingenuity lies at the bottom and the top.

    What I find interesting about the JOP is that James moves his type of earnings from paid to staying. The difference between a worker and an owner is that one gets cut off when his services are no longer needed (the basketball player or Starbucks employee) and the other’s investment is permanent and transferable in assets. An owner has a club that has a relatively stable worth in reality. Furthermore, those assets can always be transfered to another venue if the profitability of said club declines. James can’t just switch from basketball to hockey. Not so with the owner.

    That being said, I’d like to see James somewhere else, just so I don’t have to hear all the Kobe comparisons.

    Peace, Kareem.

  15. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    J-Dizzle – That’s true. Most Euro teams pay for agent fees.

    Jeffrox – Signing James to a $50 million per year deal wouldn’t be profitable. There’s no salary cap in the Euroleague. European basketball club owners can pay there players as much as they’d like without having to worry about a luxury tax that charges them a dollar for dollar penalty for exceeding the salary cap.

    Another thing to consider is the euro to dollar exchange rate. The euro is worth more than the dollar right now. Patrick McManamon of The Akron Beacon Journal reported yesterday that “$100 million in U.S. dollars adds up to a meager $64.57 million euros.”

    http://www.ohio.com/sports/cavs/26341694.html

    The euro exchange rate would also benefit Nike. If LeBron played in Europe, the demand for their product would increase. The exchange rate would mean increased profits as well.

    LeBron’s legacy could take a hit, and there’s no guarantee that he would win a European championship. But I think it’s fair to assume that he’d dominate the competition. He dominates the NBA, he was the leading scorer and he’s triple-double threat every night. The Euro game is getting stronger, but it’s not as strong as the NBA. So his impact would be greater in Europe.

  16. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Chukaz,

    SLAM fam?

    Where do you get the tax information you cited? I’d love to take a look at those figures.

    Childress is going to make more in Europe than he would have in the States. His income isn’t completely tax-free, but from my understanding, European teams pay a large percentage of their American players’ domestic taxes.

    Another thing that you need to take into consideration is the exchange rate.

    I cited this above, but Patrick McManamon of The Akron Beacon Journal reported yesterday that “$100 million in U.S. dollars adds up to a meager $64.57 million euros.”

    http://www.ohio.com/sports/cavs/26341694.html

    That’s a big difference.

  17. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    DownsA529,

    There are a few very deep pocketed owners in the Euroleague.

    CSKA Moscow — a team that has already contacted James — is owned by Mikhail Prokhorov. Prokhorov is the 24th wealthiest man in the world. He’s worth 19.5 billion dollars.

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/10/billionaires08_Mikhail-Prokhorov_JW8Z.html

    Prokhorov doesn’t have to worry about the restrictions of a salary cap or luxury tax. He can do whatever he wants. If he wants to sign James to a two-year $100 million contract, he can do it. And let’s be honest, it’s not going to effect his bottom line very much.

  18. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Kareem,

    Players as owners in the NBA would open a huge can of worms. Teams would have to sign players to career binding contracts for that to work. But an ownership percentage in outside business interests is an entirely different thing.

    Let’s use CSKA Moscow as an example. What if Prokhorov offered James an equity stake in whatever businesses he accumulated his billions in, in exchange for his services as a basketball player? It sounds crazy, but it’s possible.

  19. Kareem Says:

    I think the same concept applies. But that is possible. I think the problem with that construction is that there’s a good possibility that James doesn’t know the first thing about whatever other business he’d be investing in. Not that he couldn’t afford the advice. When you become a multi-million dollar investor in a company, your interest has to be a little more active than a paid analyst. I guess he can just hire a portfolio manager. Personally, the way the global economy is right now, I’m not sure what industry I’d really want my money in. There seems to be tremors of an imminent collapse. I guess, invest in food, water, shelter, and gas; make money or take money from what others don’t have.

    I like basketball players a little more when they’re just getting paid; I don’t want to start thinking of them as exploiters.

  20. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Kareem,

    There is a difference between a player like LeBron taking an equity stake in an a team he plays for as opposed to an outside business venture.

    For one, James would be involved with and could conceivably have veto power on all player trades, signings, and draft picks. If an NBA team gave him an ownership percentage, that team would almost certainly want him to sign a career binding contract. The Cavs — for example — wouldn’t want James to have an ownership percentage, and then bolt for NY. There would be conflicting interests.

    An ownership percentage in an outside business venture wouldn’t really effect his primary responsibility — and that’s to play basketball.

  21. Lisa Horne Says:

    If he doesn’t win a title or MVP, then once he goes to Europe, he’ll be forgotten. Except by Cavs fans of course. Kobe also said he would do it for 50 mil. While I’m all for anyone making as much money as possible, isn’t there a point where it becomes to gluttony? Nice read!

  22. Jeffrox Says:

    Brandon

    YOu have agreed with my assessment that paying Lebron $50M tax-free wont be profitable and it does not even ensure a strong chance at the title. I have reservations though on your forecast of Nike sales once Lebron transfers to Europe. Im a sales information analyst with logical and pragmatic approach influenced by my engineering background and I must say that marketing is not an exact science. I don’t like to appear rhetorical but you have to convince me about Lebron’s Nike sales influence with solid numbers.
    Had Lebron not existed would Nike sales be down? Had Nike sales been up because solely of Lebron? How about the influence of other endorsers? I can go on and on but the bottomline is, anyone can easily point out a kink in that data like sales cannibalization, changing trend or buying pattern/preference, emerging competition and so on. In short, an environment from two different periods can never be the same. In effect, Nike sales may go down or up wherever Lebron plays however large his influence may be. So, I have to reserve my analysis on this one unless I’m presented with more credible and comprehensive sales figures from Nike.

    I will focus in stead on your million-dollar question. In my estimation, considering all the known factors to me, I would put the price tag for Lebron to disregard or sacrifice his other valuable concerns at the $70M range tax-free. Because if $50M ‘barely’ exceeds his current level at the cost of sacrificing his other concerns, then a substantial amount over that should be presented to him. Whether he’s worth that amount or if a Euro team is actually capable of paying and being sane at the same time is beside the point.

    I find it strange that you have to quote a day-old item from another sports columnist to figure out how much $100M is actually worth in Euros.

    I’ll keep my critique of LeBron’s statement for the meantime.

  23. dusty Says:

    Lisa Horne Says:
    August 8th, 2008 at 10:05 am
    If he doesn’t win a title or MVP, then once he goes to Europe, he’ll be forgotten. Except by Cavs fans of course. Kobe also said he would do it for 50 mil. While I’m all for anyone making as much money as possible, isn’t there a point where it becomes to gluttony? Nice read!

    _____________

    as per usual, great point here by lisa horne.

    lisa, ever heard of dominique wilkens?

    nique, (good god i love that name)was inducted into the NBA hall of fame in 2006.

    nique (lol) lead the league in scoring ONCE, and earned 1st team all NBA ONCE!

    ZERO championships, ZERO finals appearances, ZERO mvp’s.

    hopefully you hadn’t forgotten who nique played for in 1994, i bet hawks fans haven’t.

    PS. gag me.

  24. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Lisa Horne – Welcome! I don’t know if LBJ would be forgotten. I think ESPN would find a way to televise his games. And I don’t think his endorsement income would suffer either. European kids wear Nikes too.

    And in most circumstances, I don’t fault players for trying to earn as much as they can. Unless those players are putting dollars over victories or legacy. Which wouldn’t be the case for someone as young as LeBron.

  25. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Jeff,

    Take a look at this:

    http://www.nikebiz.com/media/pr/2008/06/25_Earnings.html

    It doesn’t focus on LeBron, but it does touch on Nike’s European sales and discusses the exchange rate.

    You said, “In my estimation, considering all the known factors to me, I would put the price tag for Lebron to disregard or sacrifice his other valuable concerns at the $70M range tax-free. Because if $50M ‘barely’ exceeds his current level at the cost of sacrificing his other concerns, then a substantial amount over that should be presented to him.”

    Are you implying that LeBron would receive less in endorsement money if chose to play in Europe?

    I didn’t really “need” to cite the Akron Beacon Journal columnist. I just wanted to bring a great article to your attention.

    If you’d like to check his numbers, here is a currency converter:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/currency?u

  26. Jeffrox Says:

    Brandon
    Yeah, European kids wear Nikes too. But I strongly doubt it was largely due to LeBron. Even among ALL my Filipino friends who play basketball, while LeBron rings a bell, he doesnt really influence their buying preference. They’d prefer to wear Nike just the same. More than 5 years ago, Kobe was endorsing Adidas and collecting NBA titles. I have no idea about the total marketing success of the Kobe Adidas shoes but per my observation at that time, it was far from a good. I’m not saying that celebrity endorsers are useless. It’s just that there are too many factors that contribute to the success of a product. And it’s impossible to unbundle one from another.

    Dusty
    As for the comparison to Dominique Wilkins, he was hugely popular because of his rivaly with Michael Jordan both in points production and slam-dunks. LeBron will surely be remembered even if he plays in Europe. But certainly not as great as you’d expect it to be considering his status now. That’s probably what Lisa Horne’s message. The gravity of name recall is different. Not everyone has a sharp memory or follows the NBA closely. It’s like me saying something like this that people already forgot about Hakeem Olajuwon and of course you can also argue that a number of guys can still manage to spew out his approximate stats during his phenomenal years, championship and MVP years. It’s not necessarily being literal even if it appears to be literal.

  27. Jeffrox Says:

    Brandon

    Sorry if I appeared to be offensive. I think you’re a great guy. I have not followed your links yet. Maybe next time. I just didnt find it smart to relate the exchange rate factor to an article of another sports columnist, quote and unquote.

    “Another thing that you need to take into consideration is the exchange rate.
    I cited this above, but Patrick McManamon of The Akron Beacon Journal reported yesterday that “$100 million in U.S. dollars adds up to a meager $64.57 million euros.””

  28. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Jeff,

    No offense taken. I hope I answered your questions/concerns.

  29. dusty Says:

    oh, OK jeffrox.

    so you are saying that not everything appears to be what it be?

    it’s all about “perception”.

    hopefully lisa horne will stop back by and leave another comment, so you can break out your decoder ring and translate for me.

    thanks.

    KOBE!!

  30. King_Kaun Says:

    You are all missing the big picture here! The real story revolves around Dirk’s new haircut!!

    http://cache.deadspin.com/assets/images/deadspin/2008/08/Nowitzki.jpg

    Hooray!! Olympics are here!!

    p.s. LeBron would totally bolt for that price.

  31. Kareem Says:

    I think anyone would bolt for the old world. Finally they’re paying the black man to bring him to Europe. Revelation upon great revelation!

  32. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Kareem – The basketball world is changing, there’s no questioning that.

    King_Kaun – I saw Dirk’s new do. Lol.

  33. Uncle Sam Says:

    You guys are NUTS!!! If Lebron or Kobe sings with a Euro Team the NBA will never be the best league in the world. Why?? Because Great Players will split in different EURO teams and basketball leagues would be WORDLWIDE equal or better than the NBA. You have to understand that the NBA is like the WWF… a show! Let’s sat Kobe sings with Moscow (Example). He would have all the media attention ( Not USA ) and the eyes of the fans would be on the EURO league where the best player in the planet is. This could have a huge impact in the NBA and around the world.

    The only thing that saves the NBA for his death would be tha David Stern manage to bring and mix the Esuro League teams with the NbA ones.

  34. The NBA At A Crossroad | WaitingForNextYear Says:

    [...] Hoffman of BallerBlogger made what was, in my opinion, the most intriguing argument yet for LeBron leaving for Europe. He writes, “Even more enticing to James has to be the revelation [...]

  35. Fred Says:

    This kid has been hanging out with Warren Buffet and is now considered a personal friend. Joe Dumars recently made a comment at a dinner when asked about Bret Farve not being able to give up football. When asked if he felt that way about basketball he cleverly answered when you have other things going in your life, its easy to move on and do something else. Said he hasn’t even picked up a ball and shot with his kids since retirement.

    LaBron is definitely thinking much bigger than basketball. Just imagine having an equity stake, and significant royalties from marketing as an owner. Just imagine being the number 1 player to the other 4 billion people between Europe and China. I mean the US is great but we’re still only 330 million people. Championships are great but if you can go make a billion I’m sure you’ll get over it. There are tons of championship winning athletes that are broke or near it. Give me the fortune, f the fame and yall can have the name. Quick.

  36. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Fred,

    I agree. James has larger aspirations than basketball. Although I don’t see LBJ going broke like a few athletes that have come before him.

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