LeBron James can seemingly do whatever he wants on a basketball court.
That should continue the day he retires, as his squeaky clean image and worldwide fame should enable the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar to do pretty much whatever he wants off the court, as well.
He has emulated Michael Jordan since his youth and even wears the No. 23 with the Cavs as a tribute to Jordan, the greatest player who has ever lived.
James indicated that he plans on imitating Jordan’s post-basketball life, too, recently showing interest in owning an NBA team, like Jordan does with the Charlotte Hornets.
According to Ken Burger of The Athletic (pay site), James has clear intentions for one of his post-NBA projects.
“I will own a team someday,” James told Berger. “That’s my next thing.”
It’s a classic rich guy move, which LeBron can pull off because he’s a rich guy. But he plans to be not so classic, instead a cool rich guy.
“Why do I want to own team? I think it’ll be cool,” James said. “I’ll stay part of the game and still be able to put people in positions of power. I’ve always loved that, putting people in a position of power to feel like they can make a change and make things happen.”
James has also expressed interest in building a media company upon retirement.
But while we wait – and enjoy the final third (?) of his NBA career, we can always speculate on what team it will be.
A truly Jordanesque move might be to go for his hometown team, which also happens to be his current team.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has shown no inkling that he’d like to sell the Cavaliers, but there’s always been scuttlebutt around his home city of Detroit – where he has his Quicken Loans headquarters, along with several other real estate properties – that he might want to become a major player in the Detroit sports scene.
Perhaps Gilbert would instead be interested in owning teams in Detroit, especially considering the Pistons, Lions, Red Wings and Tigers will all be playing downtown starting next season.
The owners of the Red Wings and Tigers are the Ilitch family, whose patriarch, Mike Ilitch, recently passed away.
Ilitch’s son, Christopher, has taken command, but maybe owning both teams isn’t in the plans for the family in the long-term.
The Pistons are owned by another Michigander in Tom Gores. He hasn’t given any indication that he would like to sell, but the price tag that an NBA team would command has to be enticing.
The Lions, owned for decades by the Ford family of automotive fame, are anyone’s guess, as owner William Clay Ford died last year. His widow, Martha Ford, has been the face of the team since, but there’s no public plan for that team going forward as well.