Tag:Maverick Carter
Posted on: November 29, 2010 1:15 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2010 1:26 pm

Enablers driving conversation about Heat coach

Posted by Matt Moore

The season started a month and two days ago, but apparently it's never too soon for the new Heat to completely run over their head coach. Despite the fact that the Big 3 signed on to the Heat because of their trust in the organization, and that organization's trust in Spoelstra, a mutiny is afoot. ESPN's Chris Broussard reports that the Heat players are "frustrated" with head coach Erik Spoelstra, wondering if he's the right man for the job. Broussard claims this isn't a "LeBron v. Spoelstra" issue (regardless of timeout bumps ), but one of the Heat players versus the young coach.

Ken Berger will have more on the situation in full detail this afternoon, but there's an element of this story that's worthy of discussion here.

Chris Broussard was of course the reporter to first break that LeBron James' "Decision" would be to head to Miami to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. So naturally his having the story of the Heat's winter of discontent is going to raise some eyebrows. Broussard's connections are most visibly through LRMR/CAA and LeBron's crew of "enablers" as they're often called. That Broussard is specifically making it clear that LeBron is not behind this public relations coup d'etat comes across as a very defensive reaction from LeBron's people.

What's more, if we look at the likely squeaky wheels, all roads lead back to James and his crew, be it CAA, Maverick Carter, William Wesley, or the whole bunch. That's partially because there aren't many other likely suspects. The role players on the Heat, like Eddie House, the injured Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller, James Jones, Zydrunas Ilgauskas? Those aren't strong enough voices to raise discontent. They're not going to be saying anything that the Big 3 are going to disagree with. It's just not going to happen. Their loyalty first and foremost is to the Big 3 who will protect them if as their performances struggle. Which means it's the Big 3.

Chris Bosh? The notoriously soft player without a loud voice in the locker room? That's the guy calling for change? It's Bosh leaking things to Broussard through his people? Or how about Dwyane Wade, who has constantly (to this very day) defended Spoelstra, backed him, up and been behind him? That's the guy who has all of a sudden turned on him? Even if Wade had issues with Spoelstra, he's not going to his agents or entourage to leak to Chris Broussard about it; he's going straight to Pat Riley, the man that won him a championship. That's been Wade's MO the entire way. Say what you want about Dwyane Wade, he's been the model of professionalism in regards to basketball matters outside of that embarrassing introductory event. He's not likely to go to the media first in this scenario.

And even if we get past both of those things, separating Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade from LeBron James' people is kind of difficult. Why? Because they're all the same people. All three are represented by CAA, all three are close with William Wesley.

It's most likely that Broussard is reporting the truth as he knows it, that from his standpoint, LeBron wasn't the one behind this. But if that's the perception he's being given, it's because LeBron's people are purposefully orchestrating it to look that way. All the signs point to the same kind of power play LeBron has been orchestrating throughout his career with alarming frequency.

Remember that James oversaw multiple coaching changes in Cleveland. He constantly pushed for trades to improve his support while bristling at trades that would move players he was close with. (Even trading Zydrunas Ilgauskas was a difficult one for LeBron, even as it was aimed at gaining either Amar'e Stoudemire or the actually acquired Antawn Jamison.) Throughout all of it, James has and a team of people that go far beyond his agent Leon Rose pushing his agenda, running roughshod over the Cavaliers' organization. That tradition seems to be continuing now that the "family" has moved south. The problem here isn't that LRMR/CAA are driving a conversation in the media. The problem is that they're the ones driving the conversation, period.

As Andrew Sharp elucidates this morning , Spoelstra may have to go simply because he isn't capable of containing the beast that's been created. Even if he isn't the problem, he isn't able to help. This team does need a swift kick in the backside and Spoelstra's simply not going to be able to provide that. The question is whether Riley can wrangle the stars from the front office or if he'll be forced to either find a replacement for Spoelstra... or do it himself.

At the core of all this, that's what this situation is about. The Heat need someone to control the Big 3,to get their eyes off parties and enjoying themselves and into committing to the hard work and humility necessary to be truly great. Spoelstra may not be the guy to do that. The 2008 Celtics' Big 3 had more of a solidified voice than Doc Rivers (Rivers was on the hot seat before the Big 3 was assembled; the arrival of the Big 3 allowed the Celtics to mask his biggest problem: managing rotations). The difference is that the Big 3 knew desperation; they were at the end of their careers (comparatively) and knew they'd have to play with outright intensity every night. The Heat lack that and instead are led by two players who lack that passion and intensity, and their third leader (Wade) is trying to make it work with the other two weapons after a career of having to do everything.

This situation is being dictated by LeBron, just as this summer was. While Dwyane Wade is accepting responsibility and saying he has to improve, James continues to deflect. Someone, at some point, is going to have to take responsibility for the Heat. They're going to run out of people to fire, eventually.

In the meantime, we'll keep watching what's being said, and where it's coming from, as the fall of the King continues.

Posted on: October 19, 2010 9:07 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:54 pm

LeBron James's manager sued over bling fight

Maverick Carter, manager for Miami Heat star LeBron James, has reportedly been charged with physically and psychologically damaging a teenage woman in a dispute over a pendant. Posted by Ben Golliver File this one under: Are you serious? It's one disaster after another for Maverick Carter, LeBron James's manager and founder of LRMR . First there was "The Decision". Then, there were his allegations of media mistreatment of James because of his race. And now, according to legal documents obtained by TMZ.com , Carter has been slapped with a lawsuit surrounding a dispute over a $10,000 pendant that he claims was stolen from him.
TMZ has obtained a lawsuit filed by VaNeisha Robinson -- in which she claims Maverick Carter and his mom staged a 9-man ambush to jack a $10,000 pendant she claims she bought at a garage sale for $5 back in 2005 thinking it was costume jewelry. Turns out, it was real.  Carter maintains the pendant was stolen from him roughly 3 years ago ... and he had no idea where it went until he saw that Robinson was trying to sell it on eBay. 
So, while James is busy stacking so much cake and influence he recently made Forbes's "40 under 40" list , Carter is (allegedly) licking the crumbs off the linoleum. Let me lay out a simple commandment for all of the aspiring managers of aspiring billionaires out there: No chain is worth a lawsuit. Ever. Because we're talking about Carter and his questionable decision-making, I'm obligated to cite one of the funniest paragraphs ever written in the English language. This from ESPN's Arash Markazi, who tagged along with Carter and James during a three-day long party in Las Vegas this summer for a story that was eventually spiked .
Carter, LeBron's childhood friend and manager, begins dancing around James like Puff Daddy in a Notorious B.I.G video. A giant red crown-shaped cake is brought over to James while go-go dancers dressed in skimpy red and black outfits raise four lettered placards that spell out, "KING." Carter grabs a bottle of Grey Goose and pours a quarter of it on the floor and raises it up before passing it off.
For the record, TMZ reports that Carter is "denying all allegations" in the pendant case and it's unlikely the bling lawsuit will amount to much. But the greater point here is that someone charged with building and protecting James's brand finds himself working counter to those goals once again. I cut people out of my entourage for not tagging blog posts properly, so what is Lebron James's hold up? It's time to get professional representation. Finally, this case should serve as a good cautionary tale for all you online shoppers out there. There's nothing but creeps on eBay and Craigslist. Never, ever meet them in public ... especially if they promise LeBron James will be there.
Posted on: September 30, 2010 10:23 am
Edited on: September 30, 2010 1:05 pm

LeBron says race played a part in backlash

Posted by Royce Young

In an appearance on Wednesday night's edition of "Primetime" on CNN , LeBron James replied that he thought race was a factor in the negative response to his decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat .

"I think so, at times," he told CNN correspondent Soledad O'Brien. "It's always, you know, a race factor."

Some are likely rolling their eyes, but in a way, the statistics back it up.

Q Score is a poll that measures popularity and LeBron dropped (or jumped, depending on how you look at it) to No. 6 on the list. But among non-blacks, James' negative Q rating went from 24 percent to 44 after his free-agency announcement. However, among blacks, his negative Q Score slipped just from 14 percent to 15 percent.

That seems like something.

LeBron's adviser and marketing guru Maverick Carter was also part of the interview and he agreed about the role of race in the media backlash. "It definitely played a role in some of the stuff coming out of the media, things that were written for sure," Carter said.

I don't really know how to touch this topic so I'll kind of stay away and let you decide yourself on it. But as to why one color of people reacted differently to LeBron's decision than the other, I don't know. I don't even want to really take a guess as to why.

One thing that does stick out is that James just said race played a factor and then left it at that. He didn't elaborate. He didn't fill us in. He just whipped out that big shiny race card, dropped it on the table and walked away. And as a result, the door was left wide open for people to criticize, speculate and question his use of it. 

As for "The Decision" itself, James said that was his and the people around him's idea. But Carter admitted it wasn't perfect.

"The execution could have been a little better and I take some of the blame for that."

He also said something else I found interesting about LeBron's marketing approach: "It's just about control and not doing it the way it's always been done or not looking the way that it always looks."

Well evidently it's about control. A one-hour special where you control your own message and deliver it exactly how you want? Yep, that's pretty controlling. And that was a big part of the backlash over it.

But it was noted in the report that over $3 million was raised for the Boys and Girls Club of America from "The Decision." That's a good thing that's been largely ignored from that night. That's not going to save LeBron's popularity score, but still, a good thing.
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