HoopsHype Maverick Carter rumors


April 8, 2011 Updates

LRMR is partnering with Fenway Sports Management, the marketing arm of Fenway Sports Group, the owners of the Red Sox, the English Premier League soccer club Liverpool FC and New England Sports Network. The deal is potentially groundbreaking. James and Carter, black boys from Akron’s hood, are aligned with Henry and Werner, old, white money. This isn’t a shoe company raining millions on a great athlete. Or a sports agency arranging movie cameos and commercial endorsements for a superstar. It’s “Trading Places.” It’s Randolph and Mortimer Duke welcoming Billy Ray Valentine into their private country club. More important, it’s a sports icon multitasking as full-fledged businessman in the prime of his career. LeBron James yearns to be Magic Johnson/Earvin Johnson, basketball legend/business tycoon. Now. FOXSports.com

“I’m in Los Angeles,” Carter says. “I’m with Jimmy Iovine. We’re in his office. It’s a couple of years ago, around 2008.” Iovine is the chairman of Interscope Records. He produced albums for U2 and Tom Petty. Iovine discovered Eminem. Iovine sold the masters to Death Row Records for $500 million. Iovine is music royalty. Carter, at this time, is the undistinguished childhood friend LeBron James put in charge of his global-icon aspirations. “I got this whole thing about gift-giving and how to use it as a marketing tool,” Carter continues. “Jimmy is telling me about Beats, the headphones by Dr. Dre . . . So Jimmy has me put on a pair of Beats. I love them! The sound is great. They look hip. “I say, ‘Jimmy, let me get 15 pair.’ He’s like, ‘Mav, these aren’t on the market yet. I don’t even know if I have 15 in my office. I say, ‘Jimmy, let me get 15 pair and watch what I do with them.’ ” FOXSports.com

Iovine obliges. Carter gives the headphones to James, instructs the two-time NBA MVP to gift them to his 2008 Olympic teammates as they board their flight to China. As he presents the headphones, James shares a short speech that touches on the significance of their journey and how the Beats symbolize the sincerity of their commitment to put team goals ahead of individual ones. When the Redeem Team deplaned in Beijing, the international press awaited LeBron, Kobe, D-Wade, ’Melo and D12. A paparazzi-like contingent of still and television cameras captured their arrival. Fifteen new pairs of Beats draped the heads and necks of the world’s most recognizable athletes as they conducted their initial, impromptu Olympic interviews. Carter engineered the ultimate product placement, a genius, massive, free advertising campaign. “Maverick gets it, and he gets it done,” Jimmy Iovine blurts out while retelling the story Carter shared in the Mercedes. “Maverick says it, and it happens. And that’s rare in any business.” FOXSports.com

“The transition that Maverick made from ordinary guy in Akron to marketing professional representing LeBron is extremely difficult,” says Merritt, an early mentor for Carter who still talks with him three times a week. “There are not a lot of people who can do what Maverick has done. Once we got him on track, you could see that he was special. I thought he would be successful but I’m not sure if I saw what he’s doing now. “Some of the business deals he’s doing for LeBron now are pretty unique.” Turning a 6-foot-8, 250-pound sculpted forward into Fat Albert certainly qualifies as unique. “The LeBrons,” which launched online Wednesday, is Maverick’s brainchild, the tool LeBron can use to teach kids moral values through cartoon characters, much the way Bill Cosby’s “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” did a generation ago. FOXSports.com

“Despite the bumps in the road, what Maverick and LeBron are doing, should be looked at as showing where athletes are going in terms of how their business is handled,” says Steve Stoute, CEO of Translation, a New York-based marketing company that works with Fortune 500 companies such as McDonald’s, State Farm and Target. “Maverick is putting footprints in the ground for everyone to follow.” FOXSports.com

December 25, 2010 Updates
November 30, 2010 Updates
October 19, 2010 Updates

Were you surprised at the level of anger from fans and comments from people within the League following his decision? David Falk: I wasn’t surprised at all. I was disappointed that it wasn’t handled better. I really like Maverick Carter. Maverick is not his NBA agent. In any situation when you’re going to exit, I think you have to stand up and tell the person in advance, ‘Hey, I’ve made a decision. You haven’t created an environment that is conducive to my success, so I’m going to leave.’ He has every right to leave. I just think there’s a certain level of respect, consideration and professionalism. And LeBron is a very professional guy and I don’t think he received very good advice in how to handle that situation. I think the show was a disaster. SLAM

LeBron James' manager is accused of physically and psychologically damaging a 19-year-old woman ... after she claims the guy held her against her will and stole a very expensive piece of LeBron-inspired jewelry. TMZ has obtained a lawsuit filed by VaNeisha Robinson -- in which she claims Maverick Carter and his mom staged a 9-man ambush to jack a $10,000 pendant she claims she bought at a garage sale for $5 back in 2005 thinking it was costume jewelry. Turns out, it was real. TMZ.com

October 1, 2010 Updates

Carter ought to stop crowding James on a stage where’s there’s no room for him, no good use. After all, this wasn’t about a belated damage control for LeBron, but for Maverick. Carter crafted a hit-and-run that would work to restore his crumbled standing in the marketing world. Carter wanted to change the dialogue on “The Decision” for his own good, not James’. Yet, LeBron takes the hit again and again for his loyalty to this wrecking crew that surrounds him. They thrust James into a no-win situation, and it set him back again. And Carter? He slips back into the shadows until his next round of one-on-ones and photo spreads with Forbes and Fortune. Yahoo! Sports

August 7, 2010 Updates

According to the foundation's federal tax reports, other local organizations that have benefited from James' philanthropic efforts include Summa Health System, the Akron Community Foundation, the Akron Pee-Wee Football Association and the Northeast Ohio Basketball Association, based in Fairlawn. More than $50,000 has been reported to provide Thanksgiving turkeys to needy families. Nearly $200,000 has been donated to the Akron Area YMCA and more than $130,000 to the Akron Urban League. James also gave the Kia crossover SUVs he received when honored with the NBA's 2009 and 2010 MVP awards to the Urban League and Summa Foundation. Akron Beacon Journal

August 4, 2010 Updates

Maverick Carter, CEO of James' marketing company, said the ad was meant to thank the city and the people for their support in advance of James' annual bike-athon on Saturday. ''This is where he lives and where he will always live,'' Carter said. ''This had nothing to do with Cleveland, nothing to do with the Cavaliers.'' Akron Beacon Journal

August 1, 2010 Updates

Carter, 28, is James’ closest adviser and a former high school teammate. After James fired his agent, Aaron Goodwin, in 2005, Carter helped James launch LRMR, which is named after James and his high school buddies — Richard Paul (no relation to Chris), Randy Mims and Carter, all co-owners of the agency. Carter, who attended Western Michigan and the University of Akron but did not graduate, runs the day-to-day business operations. Carter negotiated James’ contract extension with Nike that was reported to be worth upward of $100 million and finalized lucrative sponsorship deals with State Farm Insurance and McDonald’s. According to sources, Carter worked two years before getting Paul to come on board. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Paul’s brother, C.J. Paul, said they have nothing but respect for Williams and Carter. “They are great people, but people that don’t know them always tend to give them a bad name,” C.J. Paul said. “Wes is a great guy, and I would never say nothing bad about Wes. I talk to Wes and Maverick every day. We have known them since Chris was in college (at Wake Forest). We have nothing against them at all. They were there when nobody else was.” New Orleans Times-Picayune

But if you're looking for something that doesn't make sense, it is the extreme double standard LRMR and James enjoy with the college and high school ranks. James is permitted to hold camps with high school and college players who will be pros in less than a year while at the same time he's basically recruiting them to sign with his agency. At the July Nike camp in Akron that has all the top high school players and college stars acting as "counselors," there are signs everywhere that agents aren't allowed in the building. Even college coaches aren't allowed there. But Maverick Carter, the head and chief recruiter for LRMR, is allowed to be there and have unchecked access to these players while James gives them free shoes and gets to know them and their families. Cleveland Plain Dealer

LRMR has not been taking advantage of this edge and has not been able to land many of its top targets over the last three years. This year it missed on John Wall after a very hard recruitment led -- it would seem illegally by NCAA standards -- by James. He got to know Wall's family well and contacted him regularly during the season. Which we know because James openly talked about it. Cleveland Plain Dealer

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