LeBron James, a 25 year old, 7 year veteran of the NBA is a free agent and will announce his decision on where he will play next. Teams have been “pitching” him left and right. The main contenders are the Cleveland Cavaliers (his current team and closest team to his childhood home of Akron), New Jersey Nets, New York Nicks, Chicago Bulls (his favorite team growing up), and the Miami Heat (team to 2 of his closest friends). Oh yeah, I also read the Clippers were in there too.
Reading the pros and cons, the logistics behind why this or that choice would work is fascinating. Oh, to be LeBron. $96.1 Million over 5 years on the line and five/six teams wanting you on their team. I’m sure there are other teams that would LOVE to have LeBron play for them but maybe they can’t afford it.
As an unemployed marketing and sales professional, I would have loved to be in those meetings/pitches. How often do you have your CEO at a presentation? What did they offer? Did they use some small talk…”So LeBron, it sure is hot out, isn’t it? How are the kids? And your mom?”
I have read the arguments behind what each team can offer LeBron, besides the money, of course. And while I said in the title that it’s just business, is it?
It’s never really “just business.” You see, before it becomes business it’s our life. It’s our heart. It’s our passion.
Most critics and analyst have talked about LeBron going to a particular team, few have used the term “employer.” And this is where we add the business.
When it is a team, you can do what you love…pounding the boards, blocking shots, making a difference for the thousands and thousands of fans who just enjoy watching you play. It’s personal. When it is an employer, we are talking about ticket sales and championships. Fans become indirect board members. It’s business.
This morning I became an armchair sports analyst asking these questions:
- Would he want to play in Miami where he would be one of three stars?
- Would he want to play in Chicago in Jordan‘s legacy/shadow? (Ok, I did get that one from a real analyst but it made sense so I asked the question again.)
- How important is home town to him?
- Nicks or Nets? Which side of the bridge?
I wonder if anyone, besides his mom, has asked LeBron what’s important to him? It’s when we start looking at what’s important that we make the decision based on it being personal or business.
You see, fascinating.
Again, I’m not a sports chick but I do like a good negotiation and a great press conference and the anticipation. Good thing I have TiVo to catch So You Think You Can Dance-the results show for me because I think I will be watching ESPN tonight.
Let’s see if it’s business or personal…or a combination of both.
UPDATE 6:51pm (PST)
LeBron James is going to the Miami Heat.