Report: LeBron James gets tough news regarding business venture

Orel Dizon
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is known not just for his brilliance on the basketball court, but also for his business acumen. However, it seems that one of his business ventures has taken a hit.

The four-time NBA MVP is an investor of the Blaze Pizza restaurant chain, whose Berkeley, Calif. branch has reportedly closed for good.

“Thanks so much to the reader who let us know that Blaze Pizza’s ‘closed for the summer’ door sign is no longer accurate, and that the Berkeley location is now marked permanently closed on both Yelp and the main Blaze website,” wrote Joanna Della Penna of The Oaklandside. “The phone is also disconnected. This is surprising given the two-year-old, fast-casual pizzeria’s seemingly high popularity with students, but it looks like Blaze has indeed blazed on. Blaze Pizza was at 2400 Bancroft Way in Berkeley.”

James reportedly invested in Blaze Pizza in 2012, just when it was started by its founders. The following year, he became interested in operating a franchise in South Florida while he was still playing for the Miami Heat. Since then, he has expanded his involvement to several other locations.

Interestingly, Blaze Pizza has had some big years from a revenue standpoint since James became involved. Of course, it’s tough to measure the exact impact of the four-time NBA champion owning and also endorsing the brand, but it’s likely a safe bet that he has been a key factor in the success.

The Berkeley branch closing down certainly won’t affect James’ bottom line that much. No news of why it had to be shut down permanently has been divulged.

Aside from Blaze Pizza, the Ohio native has an extensive business portfolio, which includes owning SpringHill Entertainment and Uninterrupted. He also joined the ownership group of Fenway Sports Group, making him a part-owner of several sports clubs, such as the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club.

Thanks in part to his business empire, James has officially become listed as a billionaire. That’s an unprecedented feat because he is still active as an NBA player. In comparison, the only other basketball billionaire, Michael Jordan, reached the mark more than 10 years after retiring from playing.

James’ wealth will probably allow him to become an owner of an NBA franchise one day, a dream that he has been vocal about in recent years. For now, he is focused on giving it all on the court and helping the Lakers contend for another championship.

With the 19-time All-Star leading the way and a solid supporting cast, the team is one of the favorites to challenge for this season’s NBA title.

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Orel is excited about the prospect of “Showtime Lakers” making a comeback, thanks to the presence of the King and the arrival of the Brow.