MIAMI – Players are not the only ones expressing interest in David Beckham’s MLS franchise. Potential owners are, too.
Miami Heat star LeBron James has stated on multiple occasions in the past that he would be interested in joining Beckham’s MLS ownership group in Miami and that apparently is still the case. But James’ inclusion has not yet been finalized and his place in Beckham’s plans seems far from a guarantee, regardless of how much sense it makes on paper.
"LeBron is a friend, so we speak as friends about what we're doing but we're also speaking as great businessmen,” a noncommittal Beckham told reporters at Perez Art Museum Miami following his announcement on Wednesday morning. “If LeBron comes on, then it'll be amazing because people love him in this city, people love him in sports.
“He's not just a great sportsman, but he's a great man as well and someone that does a lot outside the game as well. To have him in the fold would be a good thing."
Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Claure – who along with Beckham and Simon Fuller comprises the prospective Miami franchise’s current ownership group – was also asked about the status of the NBA’s most high-profile player.
Like Beckham, Claure did not give a direct response, saying that there is lots of interest from potential investors and that the decision to add some could only come after an official announcement was made.
"There are lots of people who want to be a part of this project, a lot of people,” said Claure. “I think we had to take the first step and that was the three businessmen making the announcement and exercising Beckham's option.
“Today, now we have something to talk about. Yesterday it was a dream, but today it is a reality, today it is a project, today we have a business, today we have the necessary things to invite others to be part of this project."
Franco Panizo can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com