NBA superstar LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers has, in the past, said enthusiastically that he saw team ownership in his future, but has dialed back his excitement in more recent comments, ESPN reports.
In a previous interview with the Athletic, James was emphatic about his intent to own a team someday, declaring with confidence that there “Ain’t no maybe about it” and adding that “I’m going to do that sh–.”
The Lakers star walked back those remarks recently at Saturday’s All Star media day.
“I was asked a question and, um, I answered it how I felt at that point in time,” he said. “I believe if I wanted to, I could own a team or be part of a basketball team. I know I got so much knowledge of the game that I don’t want to, once I stop playing, I just [don’t] want to get away from the game.”
James’ tempered point of view may have just been a simple change of heart since earlier statements, or it could be influenced by the frankly staggering financial commitment involved in owning an NBA franchise, not to mention other factors that would come into play in such a decision.
Through the gift of shoes & act of washing feet, our Ambassadors reflected on the importance of serving others in need & recognizing what it means to walk in others’ shoes. ????♂️????♀️ #IPROMISE pic.twitter.com/ZXqydMDKNR
— LJ's Fam Foundation (@LJFamFoundation) February 15, 2019
James, according to Forbes, has a net worth in excess of $450 million, a sum that puts very few things out of reach for an aspirational entrepreneur. However, with an average value approaching $2 billion, an NBA team just may be one of them. With the NBA continually adding new sources of revenue, that average will only push higher over time.
Unfortunately for ownership-minded athletes, it is a long shot for any player, even a megastar like James, to be in a position to purchase a team. In fact, Michael Jordan remains the only former NBA player to wholly own an NBA team. Jordan currently owns the Charlotte Hornets. However, just as James is in many ways following in Jordan’s footsteps on the court, he might be able to pull off the same when it comes to owning his own franchise, an honor more accessible to well-capitalized billionaires than on-the-ground athletes, regardless of their success in the sport.
Even so, there are more than finances for James to consider.
“It would have to be the right fit. It’d have to be the right city. It’d have to be the right situation,” James said. “It’s not like it’s a dream of mine. It’s more of an aspiration. See if it happens. If it don’t, I won’t be disappointed in anything I’ve done off the floor. We’ll see what happens.”