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None other than Warren Buffett praises LeBron’s business savvy

Nov 2, 2012, 7:08 PM EDT

LeBron James AP

LeBron James has never made a secret of his desire to be a billionaire, which when he was younger came off like some of his other boasts — the ramblings of person who has never really had to deal with the real world.

But things seem to be changing. On the court we have seen a maturity come over him that propelled him to his first ring and had him playing up near the level of the guy you can’t compare anyone to.

Off the court, the guy you can’t compare anyone to is Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett. He’s the investment guru and the second richest man in the United States.

And he thinks LeBron is brilliant at business, too, he told the Miami Herald.

“You have to get to know him,” Buffett said. “LeBron’s not initially really talkative. He’s savvy. He’s smart about financial matters. It’s amazing to me the maturity he exhibits. I know that if I had been famous at that age, I would have had trouble keeping my feet on the ground.”

Forbes estimates that salary and endorsements brought LeBron $53 million in income last year, the fourth highest among athletes. And it would have been more if not for the lockout.

And that number is going up because companies want him as an endorser again (he just signed with Samsung). It’s a swing in his image from just a couple years ago. Again from the Herald.

“He’s arguably the most marketable athlete currently in the U.S. because he brings the most long-term value,” said Robert Tuchman, president of Goviva, a sports and entertainment company. “I don’t think there’s anyone you can compare him to right now … he’s perceived as a really good guy and a winner.”

I don’t really know (or really care) if LeBron gets to his $1 billion goal. But if you’re hanging with Warren Buffett and he thinks your savvy, you’re doing something right.

  1. amehta256 - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    People can hate on Lebron for leaving the Cavs and the decision but this guy does a lot for the community and has his head on straight as he wants to be a role model unlike a lot of past and present NBA players. Lebron is also the opposite of the majority who surround themselves with bad company and end up going bankrupt within 2-3 yrs after retirement. Good job LBJ!

  2. redbullenergydrink - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    And the rich continue to get richer! Haha, what else is new in America?!

    • rodgersmvp - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:31 PM

      Yeah, America has a real problem with black children of single mothers pulling themselves up to become the best at their field and making millions. That sure is a thing that happens a lot.

      • redbullenergydrink - Nov 3, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        I wasn’t referring to wealth from generation to generation if that makes you feel better.

  3. lakerluver - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    All good points. Now watch how the haters go on the attack. I am not a Heat fan. But I am a LeBron fan. I agree with what Buffett said. If I had the money and fame LeBron had at such a young age I probably wouldn’t have handled it very well. Critics can try to pick apart his game. But off the court I’ve never heard any negative things about him. No drugs, DWI’s, fights, nothing. And, considering his less than ideal childhood, it’s surprising he’s turned out so well.

  4. joshm5683 - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    I may dislike him from a sports hate kinda way, but man you gotta give the guy credit. He is simply amazing to watch and in person its an experience you’ll never forget. I remember seeing him his last year on the Cavs standing next to Shaq and it was amazing how big he looks even standing next to Shaq! He seems like a nice guy who made a bad choice but is moving on and everyone else should too, even people in Cleveland. I won’t cheer him on the court unless hes on my team or going against a team I need to lose, but you have to respect how hes handled himself for the most part and his ability.

    • brianjoates - Nov 2, 2012 at 11:14 PM

      Such a bad choice to go to Miami, Iam sure Lebron would give it all back, if he could just return to the Cavs.
      And can everyone drop the Lebron back to Cleveland idea, would you ever play for a guy who ripped you after all the money you made him ,and that city treated him like crap after all he did for them. Cleveland is a terrible city. Lebron and Art are the smart ones.

  5. eugenesaxe - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    If he was so smart, he wouldn’t have screwed his public image up so badly. But if he keeps his trap shut, he does have a license to print money.

  6. hatesycophants - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    “he thinks your savvy…” Seriously? What kind of moron are you?

  7. lakerluver - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    He made 50 million in one year, how much did he really screw his image up? I’d like to screw my image of for a fraction of that amount!!

  8. wj4122 - Nov 3, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Lebron is a great player and easily the best now and deserves the same treatment ( money ) that other top athletes in there sport get. But the fact that he had to join with other all stars to get a ring will always be a black mark on his résumé.

    • redbullenergydrink - Nov 3, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      He wanted to play with his friends, Wade and Bosh. Can you blame him?

  9. djigel - Nov 3, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Buffett needs to teach him how to leave a 20% tip when he dines out…. That’s “savvy”

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