LeBron James has signed a guaranteed, lifetime endorsement deal with Nike, the athletic shoe and apparel giant and partner of James for his entire 13-year NBA career to date.
James and Kia took a refreshingly honest approach to their latest ad campaign, featuring James reading real tweets from people questioning whether he actually drives a Kia. James doesn’t believe it’s a problem that people are skeptical and insists he drives his Kia sometimes — including to some home games. “I have a couple cars and I love driving mine,” James said. “It’s pretty cool when you can drive something sometimes that no one thinks you’re in. So I can be away from everybody, no one’s going to think that’s going to be me in that car, but it’s a great car.”
On July 11, 2014, a few hours after LeBron James revealed in a Sports Illustrated letter that he was "coming home" to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA star was on the Nike jet to Rio for the World Cup soccer final. He confided in longtime manager Maverick Carter that he wanted to create a platform where athletes could speak their minds "uninterrupted," he said, the same way he did in the SI piece. Six months later, Uninterrupted, self-financed by Carter and James, launched on Turner Sports' Bleacher Report site as a hub for a series of point-of-view video shorts from athletes. Now the duo is deepening its partnership with Turner and Warner Bros. The Time Warner companies, led by Warner Bros., have invested $15.8 million in Uninterrupted with the goal of creating athlete-centric content for many platforms, including mobile, web and social, as well as linear television and film. The venture marks the latest move into entertainment for the NBA star and the further blurring of the lines between sports and entertainment figures.
James, 30, has been featured heavily in Uninterrupted video shorts, which offer a peek behind the curtain at athletes' lives away from the game. Others participating include fighter Ronda Rousey, Golden State Warrior Draymond Green of the NBA, tennis champion Serena Williams and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (talking about the media's handling of the NFL's Deflategate scandal). "It's giving athletes an opportunity to have a platform where they can speak about any issue," James tells THR. "They don't have to wait to be in front of a camera." Much like Kobe Bryant utilized Derek Jeter's The Player's Tribune Nov. 29 to reveal his retirement, Uninterrupted is "giving athletes a way to connect with their fans" without a traditional media intermediary, although the similarities end there.
If athletes are prime drivers on social media, their day jobs naturally limit their extracurricular activities. But James is well on his way to forging a successful non-NBA career. It is an example that others are attempting to emulate. "One of the attractive things about the athletes participating in a platform like Uninterrupted is they get to associate themselves and benefit from Maverick and the team — one of whom is LeBron — and some of the expertise they have in talking to their fans," says Matt Hong, Turner Sports executive vp and general manager. "They also benefit from the scale of a platform like Uninterrupted, which is amplified in a pretty massive way via distribution through Bleacher Report and the Warner Bros. assets."
A source with direct knowledge of James' business dealings insists the sole reason James didn't continue his relationship with McDonald's was because of Blaze. He couldn't rightly endorse two fast-food chains.
LeBron James purchased a vacation mansion in a plum section of Los Angeles, a source with knowledge of the transaction confirmed to cleveland.com. Variety Magazine reports that James bought the 9,350-square-foot home, built in 2011, for nearly $21 million, in L.A.'s Brentwood community. James' recent partnership with Warner Bros. fueled ample speculation that he may star in a sequel to the hit movie Space Jam, or would otherwise be more involved in the motion picture industry after his successful debut as a supporting actor in last summer's Trainwreck.
The purchase of the home was related to James' affinity for southern California and his off-court business opportunities there, and not to basketball, a source told Cleveland.com. "He likes L.A., he plans on spending time there in the summer, and he has a growing number of business opportunities," said a source close to James. "No one should read this as any indication about basketball. It's a vacation house."
LeBron James has decided to leave guaranteed endorsement income on the table for a potentially much bigger piece of the pie down the road. James has decided not to renew his option with McDonald's; he will lend his name and marketing power to fast-casual pizza franchise Blaze. In 2012, James became an original investor in the parent company, which is one of the stronger players in the assembly-line pizza concept.
Neither the company nor Carter would disclose the exact stake James has in Blaze, but a source told ESPN.com that he owns more than 10 percent of the company, which is separate from his stake in Chicago and Miami franchise rights.
August 4, 2021 | 8:51 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Free agent guard Raul Neto has agreed to a deal to return to the Washington Wizards, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Fred Katz: Here are the 2nd-round picks the Wizards are giving up in the Dinwiddie trade: • Most favorable of CHI/LAL/DET 2022 2nd (to SAS) • Least favorable of WAS/MEM 2024 2nd (to LAL) • WAS 2028 2nd (to LAL) • Most favorable of MEM/WAS 2nd (to BKN) • 2025 GSW/WAS pick swap (to BKN)
LeBron James: Keep talking about my squad, our personnel ages, the way he plays, he stays injured, we’re past our time in this league, etc etc etc. Do me one favor PLEASE!!!! And I mean PLEASE!!! 🙏🏾 Keep that same narrative ENERGY when it begins! That’s all I ask. #ThankYou 👑
August 4, 2021 | 7:30 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Restricted free agent guard Saben Lee is returning to the Detroit Pistons on a three-year deal, source tells ESPN.
The state Department of Health Services reported that 491 people with confirmed or probable cases said they had attended the Deer District or Bucks game “during their exposure or infectious periods” but the department could not say definitively that they caught the virus while viewing the game downtown or elsewhere. The department also said the figure was likely an undercount. “We anticipated an increase in positive cases due to the delta variant but 155% increase in one week is distressing,”Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said.