Reports: LeBron, Beckham Discuss Leading New MLS Franchise In Miami


VIDEO: LeBron James flies in for a power jam on the Bobcats

From NBA.com staff reports

Since joining the Miami Heat in 2010, forward LeBron James has amassed two MVPs, two Finals MVPs, three Eastern Conference championships and two NBA titles, all while cementing his place as perhaps the best-known athlete in both the Miami area and the world today. Now it seems James is looking to further his lore in South Florida by pursuing a Major League Soccer franchise there with another world-renown sporting icon: David Beckham.

BleacherReport.com’s Ethan J. Skolnick reports that James has spoken with Beckham about bringing an MLS franchise to the Miami area. The region had an MLS team in the early days of the league, the Miami Fusion, but that team folded in 2001 after three seasons.

The MLS’ website reported last week that Beckham was in Miami scouting for an area where a team could play, citing a Miami Herald report that Beckham, potential business partner (and billionaire) Marcelo Claure and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez had dinner together to discuss the potential of bringing a team to South Beach.

Skolnick has more on the James-Beckham talks and the possibility of an MLS team in Miami:

“There’s some interest on both sides,” James said. “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.”

As part of his contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy, Beckham received the option to buy a franchise for $25 million, and he has targeted Miami. Miami, however, already has four major professional teams, and three of them — the Florida Panthers, Miami Marlins and Miami Dolphins — aren’t drawing especially well. The Heat are the exception, largely due to James’ presence.

At best, James would be in an owner’s box for a soccer franchise. Small-stake ownership hasn’t proven a boon for the Dolphins, who brought Serena Williams, Jennifer Lopez and others aboard.

Still, James appeared to be sold on the potential of the project.

“I think it could be huge,” James said. “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.”

Last season, when I asked James to name his five favorite athletes in other sports, Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona was on his list.

“I’ve grown a great interest in watching the game and learning the guys,” James said. “It’s a pretty intense sport. My kids love it as well. I’ve grown to the point where I know exactly what’s going on when I’m watching the game.”

ESPN.com’s Michael Wallace and Marc Stein also confirmed the news of the James-Beckham talks via Twitter:

The bigger question for Heat fans, though, is how this potential dealing for an MLS team in Miami affects James’ future with his NBA team. Speculation has already started to bubble about where James may land next summer, when he can enter free agency. Skolnick addresses those concerns as well:

This interest in a major Miami project might curtail some of the growing speculation that James will explore free agency this summer, when he can opt out of his Heat contract. At the very least, this endeavor suggests that he’s acclimating to South Florida.

James, according to sources close to him, has explored commercial real estate opportunities over the past year, and his wife Savannah recently opened The Juice Spot, an organic juice and smoothie shop, in the trendy Brickell area of Miami.

Maybe they’ll open a soccer shop next door.

14 Comments

  1. Javier says:

    “Who cares” isn’t a Heat fan. Miami doesn’t have fake Heat fans in MIA, SOME, but not as many of those fans outside of MIA.

  2. BThey should invest in a football team called Yeovil Town. Its a famous place in england and probably a sleeping giant in the world of football, just like the wizards are a sleeping giant in basketball, still like the Washington bullets dough

  3. who cares says:

    the u.s. does not care about soccer…and never will. im surprised there is mls. i live in miami, and already know a lot of ppl who could care less about a soccer team. that idea is as dumb as giving the marlins the new stadium when it shouldve went to the dolphins. nobody here cares about the marlins uinless they r winning…so nobody cares about them, ever. this is not a sports town, but the dolphins have support all year. the heat have support now, but that will change if lebron ever leaves because of all the fake fans in this city.

  4. kek says:

    Most overpaid player of all time, David beckham!

    he was great in manchester but awful in madrid.

  5. Xavier says:

    F that Orlando is already set for the MLS team. Screw Miami

  6. Gregory says:

    That’s impressing to me, First of all I like both guys James and Beckham. I remember when I was a kid before my soccer games I was watching The free kick of Beckham. James is my favorite player . SO I am a soccer player as well and I live in San Diego CA, I will be so amaze to play for this team and work hard for the best of these two guys. Email me or call me for further information.

  7. Bakekang AGta says:

    mean lebron stay longer in miami..hmm…

  8. boston rules says:

    They should invest in a football team called Yeovil Town. Its a famous place in england and probably a sleeping giant in the world of football, just like the wizards are a sleeping giant in basketball

  9. Someone with something to say says:

    LeBron and Beckham in the soccer market will be huge to the sport in the U.S. LeBron’s already a minority stakeholder of Liverpool and he has his interests in Barca. Having Becks and LeBron as co-owners of the Miami franchise will mean a lot to the progress of the MLS.

    • KunJayMaster says:

      He’ll probably be a small stake owner, most of the time Corporations or billionaires are majority owners specially if you want to build in Miami which is very expensive. It would be awesome but really risky to be honest, unless they are planning a long term investment.

    • The Spaniard says:

      well, he can have his interest in barca but that´s all; no one can buy a stack on barca because it doesnt exist…that football/soccer club belongs to the supporters/members who pay an anual amount of money every season, you cant buy those kind of clubs.
      The only clubs in Spain that operate like that are Barça, Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.

  10. nice one bron maybe this a good sign that lerbron will staying in miami for a long time another contract more championship in miami gud lduck bron