ESQUIRE this month has a mammoth puff piece on Lebron James, which also documents the man steering his marketing career: James’ childhood friend Maverick Carter.
(Lebron & Buzz to collaborate, embrace?)
After firing venerable NBA agent Aaron Goodwin, who landed James a $90M deal with Nike, the Cavaliers star handed all of his biz interests to Carter. The most underrated hoops blogger on the web, Jorge Sierra spots this gem in the piece:
“The biggest deal we’ve said no to,” Maverick says, scratching his chin and considering the options, “was $2.5 million a year. Now that’s per year. Four years. Per year. It wasn’t necessarily that the brand wasn’t right. It just wasn’t the right time for LeBron to do it.” It’s charming to say f*ck you to $10 million. “
It’s mostly my responsibility,” Maverick continues. “LeBron focuses on being the best basketball player in the world. I do most of the negotiations. He’s gonna help, but it’s not like he’s involved in negotiation. That’s why it’s important to establish the team. He does come in on top-line meetings. But he’s not going back and forth on e-mails. He’s involved from a top-line perspective.
Carter claiming that James turned down a $10M deal is a little hard to swallow. Almost as hard to swallow as who Carter claims is going to write a book about James.
In each medium, they are partnering with someone who is tried-and-true. They are developing a sitcom with ABC based on LeBron; they are in talks with H. G. “Buzz” Bissinger about writing a book. (Maverick says, “You know him, he did Friday Night Lights.”)
Wow, I had know idea James hated the blogosphere. Surely that’ll be the subject of the collaboration, considering everything else remotely interesting about James would likely be off-limits - thanks to Carter & Co.