The names of LeBron James and Michael Jordan have been paired together in countless of conversations and debates over the years. As James continue to break records and climb up the all-time rankings, these talks will only pick up steam.
Jordan has been basketball’s poster boy for the longest time, even after more than a decade since his retirement. His brand is all over the world and stands as strong as ever. Meanwhile, James is still in the middle of building his empire. As amazing as the things that he’s already done at his age, he recognizes the road that Jordan has paved for him on and off the court.
He’s done it as well as anyone can do it as far as present [playing] career and post, so you’re always kind of watching, and it’d be great for anyone who can come in and own a ballclub, that would be pretty cool stuff, and also his brand, it continues to make an impact. So it’s pretty awesome to see what he’s still able to do after being away from the game for so long.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin placed both of their biggest business ventures side-by-side.
Jordan purchased the Hornets in February 2010, becoming the first former NBA player to become the principal owner of a team. Since then, other former players have followed suit — notably Shaquille O’Neal with the Sacramento Kings and Grant Hill with the Atlanta Hawks — albeit in a minority capacity.
James has already ventured into the realm of controlling a professional sports team, just not an NBA one. In 2011, his company, LRMR Branding & Marketing, teamed with Boston Red Sox owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner to establish a partnership with Fenway Sports Group. As part of the deal, James received a minority stake in Liverpool Football Club, a soccer franchise in the English Premier League that was valued by Forbes at more than $980 million in May 2015.
It won’t be surprising if LeBron James ends up signing paychecks of other NBA players in the future, but that’s not part of the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar’s plans, at least for now.
I’m not there. I’m not there right now.
I mean, I’ve positioned myself for a long time for whatever I want to do, if I want it. But the main thing right now is positioning this team to be as great as we can be. That’s my only concern. That’s the main thing, and that’s the only thing on my mind right now. Obviously I have a lot of stuff going on, but I have a team for that and they take care of it, and when my input is needed, I’ll give it. But this is the position that I’m in right now.
Ever since LeBron James stepped into the NBA spotlight, expectations that go beyond the stratosphere have always been part of his days. Most of these he’s been able to satisfy, and some have been exceeded. Next up on his list is Michael Jordan.
It’s amazing how high Jordan sets the bar for other greats. In terms of athletics and the business side, he is still sitting comfortably high up there above everyone else. But where James can make a unique and trailblazing impact is neither on the basketball court nor the conference table. It’s in the community as he continues to use his power and influence to become a very relevant factor in the lives of others.