The NBA is investigating whether LeBron James owns a stake in Klutch Sports. That investigation will probably yield a lot of nothing.
What they can’t legislate however is influence.
LeBron James has cultivated a culture in his kingdom by becoming a great business mind. It can not be overstated the amount of credit he deserves with the litany of shrewd ventures and investments he’s made.
The issue however are the main players in the Klutch Sports empire. Rich Paul and Maverick Carter amongst others run the show and are close friends with LeBron.
It doesn’t take great detective work to connect dots and see the influence in recruiting players to teams with LeBron at the helm. Here are more details on the NBA’s investigation.
LeBron James is training with Eric Bledsoe, which sparked rumors about the Suns guard being included in a trade for Kyrie Irving. But LeBron and Bledsoe have worked out together in previous years, and obviously Phoenix never traded Bledsoe to the Cavaliers.
LeBron and Bledsoe share an agent, Rich Paul. Paul – in addition to bigger names like John Wall and Ben Simmons – also represents Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith, who’ve both signed lucrative contracts with Cleveland.
LeBron and Paul are longtime friends, and the superstar has described Paul’s Klutch Sports Group and its clients as family. No player is as connected to an agency as LeBron. Hence, people connecting the dots to Bledsoe being included in an Irving trade.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement prohibits players from owning interest in an agency, though. Has LeBron’s arrangement with Klutch crossed any lines? Brian Windhorst of ESPN on The Basket Analogy: “LeBron doesn’t have any ownership in Klutch Sports. The NBA investigated it and said LeBron doesn’t have ownership.”\
The most shocking aspect is how long it took the NBA to open any kind of peak behind the curtain on the matter.