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.”’