I don’t know where he finds the time to juggle all his business ventures while remaining a world-class athlete in prime physical shape at the age of 37. But as his NBA career presumably begins to wind down, James has lofty goals for the future, and he seems inspired by Brady’s $375 million contract with Fox.
During the latest episode of his popular YouTube show The Shop, James was asked about his post-playing career by longtime business partner and friend Maverick Carter.
“Would you go on TV? Would you be on a desk?” Carter asked. “Like when Tom Brady signed up for TV, were you like ‘Mm, maybe I should?’”
“Yeah, when I seen how much he signed for, you’re goddamn right I did,” James answered. “I’d do it for sure…I mean one, my knowledge of the sport and being able to have my insight on the sport and still be around the game. I want to stay around the game for sure, forever.”
Five years ago, no one would have even bothered asking LeBron James or Tom Brady if they were interested in a career on TV, but the landscape of the industry and the dollar amount that networks have shown a willingness to spend has changed drastically.
James, who has expressed interest in owning an NBA team in Las Vegas, acknowledged he wouldn’t be able to do both.
“Guys get fined for that now,” James said. “It’s called tampering.”
Currently, there are no immediate plans for expansion in the NBA or for a franchise to relocate to Vegas, so James has time. He could take a five-year deal with a network and continue to boost his net worth with his many business ventures while working to get a team to Vegas. Brady reportedly has similar aspirations of owning an NFL team, but getting paid $375 million from Fox isn’t a bad gig in the interim.
The problem for James is the big-dollar analyst deals have remained in the NFL. Networks haven’t shown the same willingness to spend on NBA analysts that they have on NFL broadcasters.
I don’t doubt that James would be entertaining on a game broadcast. His basketball IQ is unmatched, and his star power is even bigger. But how important is a star power analyst during an NBA broadcast?
Aside from there being more money in the NFL, there’s a lot more room for an analyst to shine in football, where the live action is limited to about 18 minutes of a three-hour broadcast, creating a lot of space for announcers to talk. The NBA features a much higher percentage of live action, making it less vital for networks to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a superstar analyst like James.
Even if James can’t get NBA media to reach into their pockets for Brady-like money, the recently crowned billionaire will have no shortage of business opportunities when he retires. And if he doesn’t receive an offer he likes, James has also shown an ability to just create his own opportunity through his already successful business ventures.