LeBron James still has a lot of a basketball left and just recently signed a new contract. But he already has an idea of what he might do once he retires.
"I feel like my brain, as far as the game of basketball, is unique," James said on the ‘Open Run’ podcast. The podcast is partnered with ‘Uninterrupted’ the multimedia platform James has a stake in. "I would love to continue to give my knowledge to the game. I would love to be a part of a franchise -- if not at the top. ... My dream is to actually own a team. I don't need to [be] fully hands-on. If I'm fortunate enough to own a team, then I'll going to hire the best GM and president that I can. But I feel like I got a good eye for not only talent, because we all see a lot of talent, but the things that make the talent. The chemistry, what type of guy he is, his work ethic, his passion, the basketball I.Q. side of things. Because talent only goes so far."
The only former player that currently owns a team is Michael Jordan, who is the player James is most often compared with. Jordan first was a part-owner of the Washington Wizards before returning to the NBA in 2001 and he is now the primary owner of the Charlotte Hornets. Like James, Jordan made millions in endorsements off the court.
Currently, NBA franchise values are rising. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spent $2 billion to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014. If LeBron, 31, doesn’t retire for another for another 8-10 years, the value of franchises could go even higher.
Financially, LeBron will have earned $270 million for his career when you finishes his current deal. He also has a lifetime deal with Nike worth a reported $1 billion and Forbes indicates that James makes $54 million per year in endorsements.
Aside from the money, it’s also interesting to consider what team James would own. The Cavs would be the most likely option, but that would require Dan Gilbert selling the team unless James would settle for becoming a part-owner.
On the podcast, James also talks about his relationship with J.R. Smith, the Cavs’ comeback in the Finals and more. You can listen to it here.