Four-time NBA MVP and business mogul LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers said early Wednesday morning that it was “pretty damn cool” for him and his business partner Maverick Carter to be the first Black men to be part of the Red Sox ownership group.
James, who has earned more than $300 million in salary during his basketball career in addition to hundreds of millions more in endorsements, marketing deals, and investments, officially became part of the Fenway Sports Group on Tuesday, making him the first Black man to own a stake in the team.
“I think for me and my partner Maverick, to be the first two Black men to be a part of that ownership group in the history of that franchise, I think is pretty damn cool,” he said after the Lakers’ victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. “It gives me and people that look like me hope and inspiration that they can be in a position like that as well, that it can be done. It gives my kids at my I Promise School more and more inspiration as well.”
Becoming a part-owner of one of baseball’s most popular and historic franchises wasn’t lost on James, who has considered himself a sports historian.
“As far as the Red Sox, obviously a historical franchise, we know the history, the World Series championships they’ve brought back home to Boston and the players that’s come through there and the legacy they hold in that area,” he said. “But it’s a great day for myself, for my family, for my school, for my business partner Maverick Carter, and everyone that has something to do with our group. But it’s a pretty amazing thing for me to continue to build my portfolio off the floor, also in a beautiful game like baseball.”
It’s uncertain how many games James will attend or if he will have any influence on how the organization is run. But adding such a big name to FSG could potentially boost the company’s worth.
James has partnered before with Red Sox principal owner John Henry, who also owns the Globe. James owns a 2 percent stake of the Liverpool soccer team in England. The 36-year-old has become a model for financial success in off-the-floor investments and opportunities, including a lifetime Nike deal that could approach $1 billion.
He made it clear he wants to delve more into sports ownership as his career winds down. Active NBA players cannot own NBA franchises, so James will have to wait until retirement to accomplish his longtime aspiration.
“I’ve always said that my goal is to own an (NBA) team,” he said. “I’ve got so much to give to the game, I know what it takes to win at this level. I know talent. I also know how to run a business as well. So that is my goal. My goal is to own an NBA franchise, and it will be sooner than later.”
Gary Washburn is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GwashburnGlobe.