LeBron James Gets China

Turns out the closely-watched decision by star LeBron James to join the Miami Heat had everything to do with China. The Forbes blog explains:

At that moment, though, Stephen Smith interjected and emphatically, categorically and unequivocally said that King James was going to the Miami Heat to join Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, two other superstars. In fact, Smith had been saying all along that LeBron would join the Miami Heat for three reasons. First, it’s all about winning championships, and Smith made a strong case that the Miami Heat would be virtually unbeatable with James in the lineup. Secondly, he said that it didn’t matter anymore what city a star plays for, it’s now about China, and he made an oblique reference to LeBron’s contract with Nike. And finally, he pointed out that there are no state and city income taxes in Florida.

Smith sounded convincing, and I was intrigued by his reference to China. For the rest of the program, I strained to hear more comments about LeBron and China, but no one picked up on it. While I thought I knew what Smith was saying, I wasn’t sure, so I did a bit of research.

The article, Nike Looks To China To Make LeBron A Billion Dollar Athlete, cleared it all up. It quoted Magic Johnson as saying the same thing as the guest commentator on Larry King. “If LeBron James wants to be a billionaire, or close to it, [he’s] gotta go to New York.”

See also “Kung Fu LeBron James” from Salon’s How the World Works blog and “Lebron James’ plan to crack China via the Miami Heat” from CNN.

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