The biggest name in basketball today, meet the biggest name in soccer over the past 15 years.
LeBron James, who long ago achieved “first-name-only” status in American sports, is apparently in league now with David Beckham in those ongoing efforts to bring MLS back to the Miami area.
Beckham’s interest is hardly a secret; in fact, it’s an anti-secret, with “news” being carefully and strategically leaked for months. (We wrote about that here.)
Michael Wallace, who writes about the Miami Heat and the NBA for ESPN.com, put this out on Twitter:
LeBron confirms interest in exploring MLS soccer franchise in Miami with David Beckham.— Michael Wallace (@WallaceNBA_ESPN) November 18, 2013
What does “exploring interest” mean? I’m sure we’ll hear more as this moves further down the line. Most likely scenario is that James is a minority partner, the way Oscar De La Hoya is a minority partner for the Houston Dynamo, or the way Steve Nash is a smaller minority partner with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Closer to the “here and now,” this is what it means: Miami is already competing with Orland, so to speak, jostling for “news space,” even as Orlando prepares for an announcement that it will soon become MLS franchise No. 21. (That, by the way, could happen officially as early as this week.)
Having a major name like LeBron James certainly doesn’t hurt in getting headlines and such. Especially in a city that definitely appreciates bright, shiny things.