Maverick Carter Rumors
James is perhaps Manziel’s most powerful ally. Manziel is represented by LRMR, the marketing firm owned by James and run by longtime friend and fellow Akron native Maverick Carter. “I haven’t talked to him,” James said of Manziel following the Cavs’ 97-84 win over the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night. “I found out about the information when you guys found out about it. If a guy is seeking help, as a friend, I support him and want him to get better. As his friends and family, we all believe in him and think this is a good step if that’s the route he wants to take.”
James and manager Maverick Carter have developed a six-episode series for the Starz network called “Survivor’s Remorse” about a basketball player who signs a mega-contract with a team in Atlanta and has to deal with the challenges of his newfound stardom. The series is based loosely on James’s life. Carter and Tom Werner are executive producers while Mike Epps and Tichina Arnold star in the series, which will premiere Oct. 4
LeBron adviser Maverick Carter, via Real Talk with Jason Whitlock: LeBron and D-Wade are totally fine, speak almost daily or every other day. They’re totally fine. They’ll be friends for life. Their friendship goes beyond basketball and is bigger than basketball, so they’ll be friends for life.
“Listen,” Carter said, “LeBron’s a 29-year-old man with lots of money, got a wife, two kids, one on the way. He makes his own decisions. He doesn’t need anyone pushing him any way, and a guy like that, you’re not going to push him either way. We’ll help him think through things and help him see through things, but he makes his own decision in his heart. Because, ultimately, he has to live with it. I’m not the one who has to show up and play games for any team.”
Maverick Carter, LeBron James’ business partner, says he didn’t push James to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, nor did anyone else in the NBA superstar’s inner circle. “This was a decision that LeBron made in his heart,” Carter told ESPN.com’s Jason Whitlock on the Real Talk podcast. “We didn’t push him to do it. We don’t push him to do anything. If he asks our opinion or what did we think about the pros and the cons, we help him think through it. We don’t push him.”
Sources say Universal Pictures is nearing a deal to acquiring the rights to an untitled feature project revolving around NBA superstar LeBron James’ high school career. An aggressive bidding war has seen several studios vying for the film. “Dallas Buyers Club” producer Rachel Winter and husband Terence will produce along with James and his manager Maverick Carter. The project is based on a pitch by Frank E. Flowers.
James watched the game’s first half from a suite behind the Knicks’ bench, while his close friend Maverick Carter sat courtside. After the ceremony, he posed for pictures with Daniel Gibson, former assistant coach Melvin Hunt and Delonte West. Yes, Delonte West.
Yes, they’re together now. Wednesday, reports surfaced that Manziel had signed with James’ childhood friend and business manager, Maverick Carter, and the LRMR agency. “Is it official yet?” James asked before Thursday’s game against the Knicks. “Maybe?” Assured that it was public knowledge, James elaborated. “At the end of the day, he’s an unbelievable competitor,” James said. “And we love what he brings to the table as far as being a football player and as far as being a young man that’s trying to strive for greatness. So we’re just happy to be a friend of his and be able to help him.”
Maverick Carter won’t just be working with LeBron James anymore. According to ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell, Carter has been selected to be Johnny Manziel’s new marketing agent. “Sources tell ESPN.com that Manziel has chosen Select Sports Group out of Houston to be his contract agency and LRMR, the firm run by LeBron James’ business partner Maverick Carter to do his marketing,” writes Rovell. Manziel has talked about his relationship with James before, saying on The Dan Patrick Show that he exchanged text messages with James frequently. Now, by selecting LRMR as his marketing firm, he’ll likely be even closer to James.
James is developing the show with his longtime friend and business partner, Maverick Carter; Tom Werner, the producer behind classic shows like “Roseanne” and “The Cosby Show”; and actor Mike O’Malley, who will be an executive producer and is the show’s writer. Paul Wachter will also be an executive producer. “It’s definitely not an autobiographical series about my life or LeBron’s life; it’s fictional characters living in a fictional world,” said Carter, before adding with a laugh: “LeBron is actually too famous, he would screw the show up if I tried to make a show about him.”
Now, it will be Adam Silver’s turn with James. Make no mistake: James and his inner circle have a strong relationship with Silver, who’ll replace Stern as the NBA’s commissioner in 2014. Silver is so fond of James’ business manager Maverick Carter, he granted an interview with Forbes to render some fluffy quotes for a profile on Carter.
LeBron James took over The Darby the other night to toast his business manager and childhood friend, Maverick Carter. The Miami Heat star brought in a marching-style band and hamburgers from their hometown of Akron, Ohio, for the 50-person-seated birthday dinner at the supper club attended by Warner Music CEO Lyor Cohen, Jay-Z and Gayle King. “LeBron was very particular about the details,” a source said. “He sees Maverick as a brother.”
After ESPN donated an hour to the “cause,” Gray felt more and more distanced from the planning. He says he informed ESPN producer Bob Rauscher that he would ask “ten or twelve questions before we get to the big one” and that he “gave him an idea of almost all the questions.” According to Gray, Rauscher gave him the green light, and Gray insists all the questions were “very legitimate.” (He regrets the “throwaway line” about nail biting.)
JIM GRAY: …by the end of the conversation, I said, ‘Better yet, Maverick, why don’t we do this: Why don’t we go buy an hour of network time, you produce the show, you own the show, I get to do the interview, and you have LeBron make the announcement of where he’s going to go.’ Before I got the last three words out of my mouth, Ari said, ‘That’s a brilliant idea. That’s unbelievable. Maverick, you ought to do that!’ Then Maverick looked at Ari and said, ‘Okay. You want to handle it?’ Ari said, ‘Yeah, that’s great, let’s do this.’ Maverick then said, ‘You know what, we can raise a bunch of money for charity, so that no one will think LeBron is going to profit from this.’ Then Maverick told me to stay in touch with him, And Ari, and that was that.
Everyone involved was using everyone else for their own ends to produce what amounted to a massive orgy that they all came to regret the next day. And LeBron was just the inflatable fuck toy in the middle of it all. So to speak. Gray explains in the book that the idea was born at Game 2 of the L.A.-Boston finals, when he spoke to Maverick Carter, CEO of James’s marketing company, and talent agent Ari Emanuel. Gray asked Carter if he could have the first interview with James after he had made The Decision, which at that point was still just a decision.
“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.”
“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.
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.”
“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.’ ”
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.
When the Players Association wanted LeBron involved a couple of years ago, James’ camp insisted it must let his business manager, Maverick Carter, sit in on one of the big agent meetings. Carter isn’t an agent, but just plays one on his personal cable sports television network.
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.
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.
Purposely lost in it all, Carter slipped in some kind of half-assed admission about the television show that “the execution could’ve been a little better.” Yes, so could’ve the Bay of Pigs and the Faber College homecoming parade. This way, Carter’s on record with a vague notion of contrition, but the race angle steals the headlines and he never truly has to answer for his incompetence.