In only a few hours, LeBron James will officially become the most sought-after free agent in the NBA. Along with the New York Knicks, the New Jersey Nets, the Dallas Mavericks, the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat, South Florida/Chicago-based agency the Creative Underground is making its own move to get King James to join their roster.
CD’s Dan Gershenson feels the former NBA MVP would be a perfect addition to their team with James’ knowledge of international marketing and the weight his own personal brand carries. “LeBron James has long seen himself as a worldwide brand and it’s always important people have solid understanding of brand strategy prior to entering a new market, as we expect him to do,” Gerhenson says.
No official word on whether or not the internship is paid, which is a critical matter considering NBA salary cap rules allow James’ current team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, are about to offer James a $124 million contract for the next four years should the superstar choose to stay. Other teams would only be able to offer James a $95.5 million deal if he leaves.
However, salary cap rules don’t seem to apply to the Creative Underground, though the agency currently is not in the position to win a coveted NBA Championship ring any time in the foreseeable future. But, the CD is not allowing this to deter them, and says they are willing to bring other free agents on board to coax James to sign with them.
Creative director Tom Olivieri says, “We have a long history of winning, a stable organization and if LeBron would like to add someone like Chris Bosh, we’ve positioned ourselves well to have room in our company for him as an intern too.”
Though the Creative Underground has a new facility in Chicago, at press time most Chicagoans agree they would rather see LeBron join the Bulls for next season, although James would have to give up his #23 jersey for another number. 45 is still open.