Through his first 16-plus years in the NBA, LeBron James has established him as one of the greatest talents to play. During that span, he has become one of the most recognizable athletes across the globe, which he has used that to gain significant profit while expanding his reach well beyond the basketball court. Although there hasn’t been any talk around when James will retire from the NBA, it’s a discussion that will continue to gather traction as he progresses further toward two decades in the league. With that in mind, James already has one thing planned after he retires from the league that will follow in Hall of Famer Michael Jordan‘s footsteps.
Michael Jordan’s path after retirement
Jordan had a difficult time settling into retirement from the NBA in his first two instances, but he has worked his way into a great position as a businessman over nearly the last couple of decades.
He had become a part-owner and head of basketball operations for the then-Charlotte Bobcats 2006. He followed that up with garnering controlling interest of the franchise in 2010 with a reported value of $275 million, which he followed four years later by becoming the first billionaire player in NBA history.
It has added another notch to Jordan’s reputation as a businessman as he has continued to find success in that regard. It has also seen him heavily influence some of the game’s current players, with James being at the forefront to follow in the Hall of Famer’s path in retirement in that regard.
How LeBron James plans to follow Michael Jordan
Throughout his NBA career, James has operated well off the court with his involvement with many different business ventures over the year. Much of that has come in the way of endorsement deals.
He has several different endorsement deals with some prominent companies such as Nike, State Farm, Beats by Dre, McDonald’s, Dunkin’, Coca-Cola. However, the 35-year-old has his eyes on the bigger picture as his business partner and close friend Maverick Carter voiced to Variety back in July of 2018 that James has a keen interest in ownership of a basketball team.
“He does like football and he’s looked at football ownership, so he’ll be owning a basketball team and running it.”
It wouldn’t become completely foreign territory for James as he a 2% stake in England’s Liverpool soccer club. He received the stake in 2011 for approximately $6.5 million that was given to him when his marketing firm had worked out a joint venture with Fenway Sports Partners bought the club.
Back in May 2018, it was reported that James’ stake had grown about five times to be worth $32 million. It’s a venture that the four-time league MVP won’t be entirely out of his field due to this experience while he will have the chance to learn from Jordan and have first-hand experience being a player.
What team is LeBron James eyeing?
With James expected to delve into the ownership pool after he retires from the NBA, it puts into question what teams he could have an interest in buying.
That has put the most obvious choice in the picture as he was asked by Jason Lloyd of the Athletic if he would want to the Cleveland Cavaliers, to which he had a resounding yes to that scenario if it presents itself.
“To be an owner of any team would be crazy. If this thing opened up and I’m in a position financially, and I’ve got the right team around me, obviously. But who’s to say Dan will (sell)?” James said. “I’ve always kept it just player/owner at this point. I guess once I come down to that point, if the conversation needed to be had, I’ll have it. But I don’t have it right now.”
Much of that will be predicated on team owner Dan Gilbert presenting a chance for part of the team being up for purchase. James could be a strong choice for part ownership, given his connection to the franchise and growing up in the nearby area.
The Cavaliers may be his primary choice, but there could be other teams to present themselves as potential possibilities.