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Monday, May 31st, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  25 responses

LeBron James’ Crew: Profiled

The NY Post published a terrific piece on the folks around LBJ, folks who could play a major role in his free agent decision this summer: “Maverick Carter was giving it to LeBron James in a Wachovia Center hallway following a Cavaliers-Sixers game in Philadelphia last season. Philly’s Andre Iguodala took it to King James in the first half, knocked the crown off his head for one night, lighting him up for 21 points in the first half. Outside the locker room, Carter, who has known James since they were 5 years old, teased him mercilessly, wondering what happened, how Iguodala could abuse him so thoroughly. No matter: The Cavaliers won and Iguodala finished with just 27. ‘Well, I held him down in the second half,’ James said sheepishly. No teammate, coach, fellow NBA player or rapper celebrity would dare talk to James like this, to rag on ‘The Chosen One’ with such ease. ‘Obviously, two guys very comfortable with each other,’ said author Buzz Bissinger, who co-wrote James’ book, ‘Shooting Stars,’ just released in paperback. Carter is James’ de facto agent/manager and CEO of LRMR, his marketing firm whose initials represent James and his so-called Four Horsemen — LeBron, Randy Mims, Maverick Carter and Rich Paul. They are his Akron childhood buddies, and they make up a most untraditional business inner circle, though Paul, 30, has branched off with O.J. Mayo. Critics wonder if Team LeBron is too unconventional — if they are savvy enough to be the major players whose voices will resonate in James’ ear about the merits of New York, Newark, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and Cleveland in the coming weeks. James is a wannabe billionaire athlete whose chief business decision-maker, Carter, is a 28-year-old childhood friend from Akron who spent two years at two different colleges before dropping out. Mims, 34, traveled with the Cavaliers as James’ personal assistant his first two years, flying on the team jet, before the organization hired him as “player liaison.” A more fitting title for Mims would be ‘LeBron Liaison.’ ‘He pretty much just sticks with LeBron,’ a Cavaliers source said. James also surrounds himself on occasion with the notorious William Wesley, worth a book on his own. Wesley, 43, is the confidant to the basketball stars — a lurking power-brokering agent-liaison whose back-channeling ways are legendary and earned him the moniker ‘Worldwide Wes.”’

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  • kudos

    Wow, an nba player that supports his childhood friends that he grew up with?? That’s unheard of.. *rolls eyes*. You could say this is the biggest problem in the nba, with all the hangers-on. Eddy curry needs some support, no?

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    If he wants to be a billionaire he needs to swing with the billionaires; go hang out with the Nets next season and invest in mining, Dubai/construction and pharmicuticals. (spel.)

  • T-Money

    I sense jealousy from the Hollywood and NYC big agents/reps. How dare he surround himself with people from his hood, get an MBA grad in there! You know what? It’s working. He has all the endorsements, all the publicity, all the power, all the money. I keep reading how it’s such a bad thing for him to be with his guys from the hood. And yet, never any specific example or situation where it hurt him.

  • clos1881

    I think its cool that he looks out for the people that were always there for him. Its like one of my favorite Jadakiss lines I rather be broke together then rich alone.

  • T-Money

    “LeBron does listen to Maverick but does listen to others,” Bissinger said. “But LeBron will ultimately listen to himself.” — TRANSLATION: I have no freaking clue, I’m not privy to anything, but I’m gonna milk this book to my death day.

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    Am I the only one pissed that LeBron and his crew are, at least it seems to me, more focused on getting paid than winning?

  • The Philosopher

    The King… and his men, his calvary.

  • Silverselectjd

    Just like Vinny Chase and the guys in Entourage. Not a fan of LBJ but good looking out.

  • sammy111

    @ Melvin Ely – nope, I am pissed too. It is stupid really, he is already paid enough to make any amount of money he so wished to…if he or those around him had any clue about how to take the money you have and make more money. The dude is probably dumb as hell in reality, just knows about basketball. If you can’t take 100+ MILLIONS OF DOLLARS and become a billionaire, you are an idiot. Plain and simple.

  • ai come back

    @melvin ely…..i think his crew would love to see lebron win but they want cash too they dont got the nba thing goin for them….but theres no way lebron after hearin so much trash about kobe and hs rings that he doesnt want one for himself the only guy who truly deserves a ring more than lebron is steve nash and ai and tahts cuz they old

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    I mean look back: his 4 horsemen were probably in on Lebron’s decision to sign his extension ONLY until 2010, which is business-wise a smart decision. But as a basketball player concerned with winning, I don’t think so. I know hindsight is 20/20, but it seems that that decision created a sense of panic on the Cavs management. They had to build a team around Lebron to appease him. To make it known to him that they’re committed to winning 100%. The problem? The need to deliver that message to their superstar with the 3-yr contract superseded the need to focus on winning. They absolutely STACKED that roster. Shaq, Mo, Antawn. All great talent, zero chemistry. And it all stemmed from the decision Lebron made: commit to the team for as long as needed to over-saturate demand outside of Cleveland, creating a front-office Keep-Lebron-Happy policy that puts winning in the back seat, culminating to a team with excellent regular seasons with repeated playoff failures. I’m not saying the Cavs management are not at fault here, but I believe not everyone was on the same page.

  • T-Money

    next, melvin will entertain us on how lebron getting paid led to the oil spill. stay tuned.

  • NDP

    T-Money: It’s working by default. Besides, Goodwin set up most of his initial and still-standing major endorsements. LRMR is a total failure.

  • underdog

    So which one of them is Turtle, and which one is Drama?

  • T-Money

    NDP: too easy. define ‘by default’. failure how? give concrete examples. the article admits that lrmr drafted deals with state farm and mickey d’s, and re-upped with nike. if he had dropped goodwin for another big time agent, would you have said that it was working ‘by default’? what are the opportunities that bron exactly missed? i couldn’t care less about lrmr but i’m kinda digusted by this boys club mentality. let ‘em get theirs.

  • http://Dsdfkjlsa.com Jukai

    So is Worldwide Wes a bad guy or a good guy? I’ve heard he manipulates players but I also heard he protects players and keeps them out of trouble.
    Also, this Lebron stuff is crap and not news.

  • http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com Tarzan Cooper

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • http://www.nbaballhog.wordpress.com God in Basketball Shoes

    I would be more interested in a profile of what contribution these individuals have made in securing and negotiating James’ deals. All of the companies he has contracts with would have approached him so what did they do to milk more out of the deal or get better terms etc? Supporting your friends is all well and good but if he truly wants to be a billionaire he needs professionals handling his business. A good player he is, a shrewd business man he aint.

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    philosopher, again, all in on brons balls…call him king when he wins ´that ´thing, ´that ´thing, ´that thiiiING..and I dont mean his first bilion.

  • T-Money

    god in basketball shoes: then why have agents in the first place? i’ll repeat, if he had switched from goodwin to another “traditional” agent, would you be doubting the deals that traditional agent got him because he is “self-marketable”? lebron is the nba player making the most endorsement money right now. at the very least, we can agree that lrmr didn’t eff up the game for him. and the fact is that he has a regular agent (rose), he has a nike rep and he is directly connected with one of the head honchos in oregon. this is much ado about nothing, if anything, people should criticize him for his ON-court performance right now.

  • Aaron

    Who cares about LBJ? Didn’t he get outted last round?

  • http://theurbangriot.com/ NUPE

    As of now it’s hard to say he made any bad decisions with his management team. Yes, he took a risk by using his childhood friends and I commend him for that. It’s nice to see that he’s trying to bring them ‘up’ versus him doing some dumb stuff to ‘keep it real’ with his boys. Also by using his own company to manage him, he personally gets to keep more of each deal he signs without the enitre 15% or whatever % going to his agent. From an on the court perspective he’s in a great situation, evry team wants him, he’ll sign a max contract and he is ‘forcing’ the Cavs to show him that they will do whatever it takes to win a championship (no ring is ever guranteed). Bron is clearly in the drivers seat on and off the court. What more could you ask for as a player from your agent? To date, they have clearly delivered and put everything around him.

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