LeBron: I'd 'obviously' consider buying Cavs if Gilbert decided to sell
LeBron James has already made upward of $200 million in his NBA playing career, and many millions more in endorsements. He has a lifetime contract with Nike that reportedly pays him more than $30 million per year. He owns his own production company, and a minority stake in Premier League powerhouse Liverpool. His playing days don't appear anywhere close to over, but he's already set up extremely well for retirement.
Like Michael Jordan before him, James' post-career years seem destined to include ownership of an NBA franchise; James himself has said that's part of his plan. It would make sense for that team to be his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, who he has almost single-handedly dragged to prominence over 11 seasons.
But, as much as James - and likely, the people of Cleveland - would welcome that, a lot of pieces would have to fall into place for it to happen, including the willingness of current owner Dan Gilbert to sell at least a portion of his majority stake.
"To be an owner of any team would be crazy," James told The Athletic's Jason Lloyd. "If this thing opened up and I'm in a position financially, and I've got the right team around me, obviously. But who's to say Dan will (sell)? I've always kept it just player/owner at this point. I guess once I come down to that point, if the conversation needed to be had, I'll have it. But I don't have it right now."
If and when it does come time to have the conversation, James may be a victim of his own success. His spectacular play has helped significantly boost the valuation of the Cavs - Gilbert bought the team for $375 million back in 2005.
"I know how much the team cost when he bought it," James said. "And I know how much it's worth now - over $1 billion if he wanted it."