China Invests in LeBron

by May 25, 2009

Dan Gilbert is selling a significant chunk of the Cavs, with LBJ’s business interests in mind: “According to multiple sources within the Cavs, franchise majority owner Dan Gilbert has a tentative agreement in place to allow a group of Chinese investors to purchase a significant stake in the Cavaliers Operating Company, the entity that owns the Cavs and operates Quicken Loans Arena. The group is led by JianHua (Kenny) Huang, a Chinese businessman who has become successful by linking American and Chinese companies… Becoming the [Michael] Jordan of China from a marketing standpoint would allow [LeBron] James to reach his goal of someday becoming the first billionaire athlete. Over the last few years James has been lagging behind more established stars like Kobe Bryant and even Tracy McGrady, a teammate of China’s national hero Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets, in Chinese popularity. But his Most Valuable Player Award — an honor that brought Bryant to the top of the list in Chinese jersey sales within the last year — has gotten James huge attention. With increased interest with this deal, James could be in position to surge ahead.”