Report: Heat’s James considering joining Beckham’s MLS ownership group

LebronJamesDavidBeckham1 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

One of the biggest stars in American sports could team up with David Beckham in his plan to start a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.

According to numerous reports on Monday, Miami Heat star Lebron James confirmed his interest in joining Beckham’s ownership group for a potential MLS franchise based in Miami. James, arguably the best player in the NBA and one that’s well known in many living rooms throughout the world, is currently a minority owner of English Premier League club Liverpool.

“There’s some interest on both sides,” James told the Sun Sentinel. “David has become a good friend of mine over the last few years. I think it would be great for this city to have a football club for sure. There’s interest on both sides but it’s preliminary talks.”

The former England international and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder revealed earlier this month that he has decided on Miami as the future site of a potential MLS expansion club, and now he’s currently looking for stadium sites and partners to join in his ownership group. In addition to James, Beckham has previously been reported to be in discussions with Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Clure and American Idol creator Simon Fuller. Beckham has yet to publicly comment on the reports.

Beckham has been seen a handful of James’ home games for the Heat, who have won two consecutive NBA titles.

“The research is still being made out,” James said, on joining up with Beckham. “I think it could be huge. You never know. I think this is a great town for soccer. There’s a lot of soccer players, there’s great youth soccer players here and people love the city as well. That definitely would help.”

South Florida once housed an MLS team, the Miami Fusion, but the club was contracted in 2001, just four years after it was founded.

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see James joining Beckham’s group? What kind of impact would this have on MLS if James does indeed join? Do you believe that this move could help soccer in Miami?

Share your thoughts below.

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71 Responses to Report: Heat’s James considering joining Beckham’s MLS ownership group

  1. Dinho says:

    “I think it would be great for this city to have a football club for sure.”

    Lebron does know we are talking about soccer, right? I kid, I kid. Just funny that he used the term, “football” when talking to a Florida newspaper….

  2. Josh D says:

    I think Lebron as an MLS team part-owner is a brilliant piece of marketing by Beckham. He’d bring recognition to the area for non-soccer fans, he’s always in the media, and he has connections throughout the American sports community.

    Simon Fuller would be another good pick-up because of his entertainment connections. If you want to build a stadium, you need outside revenue during the off season which is his specialty. You want entertainment at games – check. You want celebrities at games – check.

    I know Beckham gets ragged on frequently. But you don’t make the kind of money he makes with good looks alone. He knows how to network and he knows who to attach himself to.

  3. Boyd says:

    This will get a lot of attention…. until you watch an MLS game and you realize it sucks.
    Having famous owners and celebrities in the stands won’t make it suck any less.

    • Tim says:

      troll much?

    • BFBS says:

      Boyd, as in Kris Boyd? As in the guy that scored over 100 goals for Rangers but couldn’t hack it in the league you are now demeaning? Even though he doesn’t play in the MLS, Terrence Boyd is on his way to give you a beatdown.

    • Dinho says:

      Boyd, how do you really feel? Let me guess, MLS sucks?

    • frank from santiago says:

      no worries, Boyd is the kind of person that in a few years when mls is a top league, he’s going to say he was here all along…..Dbag.

      • Boyd says:

        If MLS ever becomes a “top league” or even a “watchable league” I’ll follow it.
        It’s been 18 years and MLS is not even a full league yet.
        Celebrities do not change the fact that most games are unwatchable.

    • Stephen Healy says:

      Boyd u apparently have not watched any playoff games which have blown away epl games this past month u need to get realistic

  4. blokhin says:

    finally, a team MLS fans can universally despise

  5. Norman says:

    It’s a frachise not a club. There is a huge difference. Real football fans follow clubs not franchises.

    • der says:

      this might be one of the silliest comments I’ve read here in a while. Personally, I only root for teams organized as a limited liability company. Everyone knows real fans only follow LLCs, not clubs.

    • lprevolution says:

      Our league, arguably, is our proverbial “club.” Sure, its “modern football” with its capitalist elite trying to find/create a market value. But, to support MLS is to support a grassroots movement that has been achieved by supporters showing up over the last 18 years, from the caldrons of the NFL stadia in the past to the current 100milion franchise price tag and sss’s today. MLS “Ultras” identify as much with MLS survival as they do its political movement, in just as significant manner politically as say supporting St Pauli, Anderlecht, or Celtic which are considered progressive movements as much as “clubs.” So, let us not focus on the “club” as purely a team shall we? Considering that MLS isn’t as valuable marketwise as your Real Madrid’s, Man U’s, and Bayern Munich’s, let us just enjoy our MLS club-ness and watch it take over the world with its “socialized” rule structure, i.e.. salary caps.

      What MLS fan doesn’t support any MLS club that enters CONCACAF? If you Norman like Barcelona comparatively, do you also support its basketball team? There’s your club. Our club is purely football.

      • Norman says:

        That is exactly the issue. MLS acts like a single club and only does what is in it’s best interest. A good example of this is when MLS paid for Dempsey’s transfer fee. How can anyone respect or follow a league that does something like this? This makes MLS look like a joke. MLS is the Pro Wrestling of soccer because of it’s franchise system. This is why I have no respect for the league.

        • go euro or go home says:

          the Dempsey deal basically did the sounders season in, so i’m not sure you should avoid watching just because you think mls headquarters has everything planned out ahead of time…

        • lprevolution says:

          You’re flaming here buddy. What’s my issue? “look like a joke” “pro wrestling” where on earth do you find that in my text. I’m speaking of Football as radical politics. No other major sport has done what MLS has to countless counter-culture youths in this country. tisk tisk norm, I though that you read.

        • Coco says:

          i have to agree with Norman. I think of they established a league with community clubs instead of single entity and the franchise model, you would have more people respecting the league and following it.

          It’s really hard to take this league seriously when the league owns all the teams

          • CeezNYRB says:

            You and Norman and those that think along the same lines are just being totally ridiculous. So, IN A HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION, if the EPL changed its business model to emulate that of MLS’s, you wouldn’t respect it anymore?

            A league’s quality should speak for itself, not its business model. Don’t like the quality of the league? No problem. But don’t go on making up some BS excuses for not supporting your home league.

            People act as if Rome was built overnight. Do you want the league to get better? Stop whining and support the league, help it get better!

            • Norman says:

              If the EPL purchased Messi for Manchester United, I would never watch the EPL again. It would be the laughing stock of the soccer world.

            • Coco says:

              if the EPL adapted the MLS business model, football in England would collapse faster than a bridge in Minnesota.

              MLS model = franchises under single entity, no free agency, no pro/rel. That would be the end of English football.

          • whoop-whoop says:

            Clearly… one can see a perfect example of your point being illustrated by the millions of fans avoiding other franchised sports leagues such as the NFL and NBA.

    • DCUPedro says:

      Oh, you are just the worst kind of person.

    • Increase says:

      He wants them to sell their identity to slave running oil barons like barcelona did.

    • mouf says:

      *dismissive wanking motion*

  6. Brain Guy says:

    With the Mankees and this Miami group in the picture, my Red Bulls are looking positively endearing.

  7. fischy says:

    Maybe LeBron could get a tryout in goal.

  8. beto says:

    cool to see LeBron is so into football. I have always said that a Miami team could work if it had a lot of star power and is done right. this looks like a step in that direction.

    as for the rest of us.. yes this team will be the easiest team to hate in MLS! along with the NY’ers…

  9. alocksley says:

    MLS should not approve a new club without a decent fan base already in place. Miami is a mistake, as is NYFC. They should stick to the strategy they began with the Pacific Northwest clubs, Philly, Montreal, and even Orlando. Take the temperature of the fan base in a given market and award franchises based on something that will give a new club a good head start – rabid fans.

    • wood chip zip says:

      Exactly, Lebron is from Akron, OH. Home to a college soccer powerhouse and an area known to produce top soccer talent. A Cleveland – Columbus rivalry and derby would be fantastic. But guys like Lebron and Drew Carey who claim to care about their roots really dont.

      • DCUPedro says:

        Congratulations, you are cordially invited to the Player Hater’s Ball!

        Say hi to Buck Nasty and Silky Johnston for us.

        • Indigo Montoya says:

          …not half, not some, but all my cash…

          for the short term, this kind of interest is great for the club and league, let’s see what happens in the long term.

    • Coco says:

      why is NYFC a mistake?

      There aren’t any clubs in NY right now besides the Cosmos.

  10. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Not a fan of Miami, in any Sport. But having dbag LBJ as a marketing tool for this potential team is good for the league. Shrewd Business move by Golden Balls if it happens

  11. Coco says:

    not gonna matter much.

    No one wants to watch a league that isn’t single table and lacks pro/rel

  12. marta in miami says:

    We have a strong fan club that has been working to get our beloved Miami Fusion back since 2002 …. MLS Miami bid on facebook and @Miami_MLS on twitter. The old aFUSIONados are now formed into a new fan club last week called @southern_legion. This will be incredible to finish what we started with a Championship. as a long suffering NYNJ Metrofan then Fusion then back to Metro then Redbulls … at least I have a glimmer of that dang cup!

  13. Todd Marsch says:

    I’ve said it before in the Miami expansion stories, but I’ll stick up for Miami again here. I spend about half the year in Miami, but have no real allegiance to the area or its sports team. I do think that an MLS team can be reasonably successful there if done right.

    1. There is a clear passion for the game in the city. If you walk around downtown and look in the windows at various bars/restaurants, probably at least 50% have a soccer game on. Not just during the Euros or when Chelsea is playing Man U, but I’ve seen high end restaurants showing live U-20 WC games or Argentinean league games…basically whatever soccer they can find to put on.

    2. Miami definitely puts style over substance and wouldn’t pay attention to an MLS team like, for example, the Fire or Crew (solid, hard-working teams without much glitz or glamor). However, if bring in celebrity owners and a steady string of reasonably high-profile DPs, people will watch and go to games. I don’t foresee Portland or Seattle levels of fan support, but I could see Redbull level support (average attendance 18K-20K, bigger crowds for some marquee match-ups).

    • whoop-whoop says:

      You say:
      “but I have no real allegiance to the area or its sports team.”
      75% of the population could say the same. Herein lies the challenge of Miami sports.

      But…. you know, there IS a whole block of the year when the Heat do not play and those that want to be seen need a place to go. Miami is a unique place that needs a unique business plan. I dream… of a glitzy, celebrity filled team, that attracts a glitzy, over the top celebrity and/or celebrity wanna-be fan base. Something far from a traditional football supporters fan base… an atmosphere representative of South Florida. A place where the game is an afterthought… an excuse to be somewhere… where all eyes are on the stands. A place Miami can buy into and the rest of the country can resent. A league is built on rivalries and rivalries are built on teams you love to hate. Who better to fill this role than an over the top, pastel wearing team, w/ cheerleaders and techno-beats and salsa music? A stadium where Gucci and Tommy Bahama wearing d-bags can peacock in an in stadium club, or drink a cocktail… say… a cosmopolitan or sugary blue chick-drink. You know, a place for a girl to properly display her new bolt-ons and an over the hill player can show off his arm candy.

      I can’t wait to see this.