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Basketball Legend LeBron James Dreams Of Owning an NBA Team, But Can He?

Despite having all the resources LeBron James will have to take retirement from the game to own a team.
Cover Image Source: GettyImages/Matthew Stockman
Cover Image Source: GettyImages/Matthew Stockman

LeBron James, one of the greatest players in NBA history, desires to own a sports team, revealed his longtime financial adviser, Paul Wachter. In an interview at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Wachter stated that James wants to own a team, and that they are actively exploring opportunities, reported Yahoo!finance. 

Wachter has been advising LeBron James on financial matters for nearly two decades, and their partnership has been highly fruitful. Together, they have made a series of investments that have significantly expanded James's portfolio. It all started with equity stakes in Blaze Pizza and Beats by Dre, both of which garnered considerable attention. James's investment prowess continued with a stake in Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC, in 2011.

James co-founded the tequila brand Lobos Tequila and turned down a buyout offer, demonstrating his dedication to the business, the Yahoo Finance report added.

Image Source: GettyImages/Allen Berezovsky
Image Source: GettyImages/Allen Berezovsky

James's investments, coupled with his substantial NBA earnings and endorsements, have propelled him to billionaire status. In June 2022, he officially joined the elite group of billionaires, with Forbes estimating his net worth to be around $1 billion. This remarkable achievement not only solidifies James's financial success but also positions him favorably for future ventures as he approaches the end of his playing career.

LeBron James has shown a genuine interest in business and ownership beyond his basketball career. Alongside his friend and business associate Maverick Carter, James co-founded SpringHill Entertainment, a production company that has produced successful shows such as "The Wall". 

Image Source: GettyImages/Harry How
Image Source: GettyImages/Harry How

While James's aspirations to own an NBA team are well-founded, the financial requirements have recently been raised significantly. NBA legend Michael Jordan recently sold his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets at a staggering valuation of $3 billion. This sale underscores the increasing value of NBA teams and the substantial financial commitment needed to enter the ownership ranks. However, given James's substantial wealth and his proven ability to make successful investments, it is unlikely that this elevated bar will deter him from pursuing his ownership dreams.

Despite having all the resources LeBron James will have to take retirement from the game to own a team. The Collective Bargaining Agreement in the NBA states that active NBA players aren't allowed to acquire or hold a direct or indirect ownership of an NBA team. This is to avoid issues of favoritism and unfair advantage arising out of players being owners. Interestingly in 2016, LeBron James said that his dream was to actually own an NBA team in near future. "I think so," said James in 2016, responding to a question on the podcast, called 'Open Run', about whether he might want to be a general manager when his playing days are over. James said in the podcast that he would love to be a part of a franchise and his dream was to actually own a team.

Image Source: GettyImages/Harry How
Image Source: GettyImages/Harry How

As LeBron James continues to make his mark on the basketball court, he is simultaneously laying the groundwork for his future beyond the game. His strategic financial investments, diverse business ventures, and billionaire status all position him favorably to become an NBA team owner. James's relentless drive, coupled with his passion for business and ownership, suggests that he will not be content with a passive role after retiring from basketball. With the possibility of expansion franchises on the horizon, it may only be a matter of time before we see LeBron James make his mark as a team owner in the NBA.