Last week, LeBron James spoke with The Athletic and elaborated on plans on owning an NBA team. James, who just turned 34 this past December, has much game left in him. However, with an eye on ownership, James is already looking at luxurious career post-basketball.
But while James has exhibited dominance on the basketball court, can James do the same as a CEO?
In short, yes. James has a net worth of $450 million, so his market value would already entice teams. Not to mention he has ownership in Liverpool’s soccer club. Although it’s only 2%, its a considerable start for a person whose occupation is a full-time basketball player. James also has expertise in business and entertainment, in which he and his agent Rich Paul own SpringHill entertainment while partnering with Blaze Pizza to make the brand profitable.
While these factors are essential, they don’t necessarily scream that James has the ability to own a franchise. But does point to his business savvy. And you can’t own a franchise without business wits. But heavy is the head that wears the crown, and no one would have higher expectations than the King James himself.
As a three-time NBA championship winner, James would be expected to be savvy enough to create a winning culture as an owner. He would be counted on to build an adequate front office, and assemble a team that has the desire to win as he did. Besides, he would still be the main attraction in any arena that he owns.
But here’s the issue. As gifted a basketball player and mind, everyone will not be like him. It’s the classic tale of the gifted person who is trying to make everyone be on their level. Michae Jordan tried and failed in his player/executive role in Washington, and he’s still trying to figure out his Charlotte Hornets owner role. Magic Johnson has the Lebron-led Lakers in a win now mode. However, it appears the rigors and reality of winning now took an effect on the younger players. James gets this entire rhetoric. Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball? Not so much.
James’ expectations will work only for those who think like him. If not, he will find himself in similar positions of Magic and Jordan. There is a reason Kobe Bryant isn’t a coach, or why Peyton Manning is doing Nationwide commercials. Their knowledge and passion for their respective game are extraordinary. It just isn’t for everyone.
Whether James would work or not, his name alone will grant him an easy opportunity to chase ownership. He will still be accessible, and his business expertise would keep any franchise afloat. The league would benefit from him staying around the league, too. Like Jordan and Magic, LeBron James has become a one-word association. Becoming an owner will only increase his legacy.
But we will have to wait another five or so years to see if this plan will work. James main intentions are to play long enough in which his son will be able to play. Perhaps, this is the beauty of being LeBron James. Life can play out however he wants it to be, such as playing in the NBA with your son and owning an NBA team.
Who else can wake up and make those goals apart of their five-year plan?