I’m writing this because I have to. My mom counseled me countless times when I was growing up “If everybody else jumps off a bridge into the river that doesn’t mean you have to do it too!” Well, yeah I did. I was a kid.
And we need to keep that in mind with LeBron and buddies down in Miami. They (figuratively, since none graduated/attended college) are the three guys a few years removed from graduation that finally found that angel investor jackpot that would make their dreams of working together come true. They’re giddy with excitement and say and do really stupid things. Their families have deeply mixed emotions; for some the prodigal son is leaving home while others welcome with open arms their newly adopted sons.
This reminds me of the genesis of the Hollywood super-team Creative Artists Agency. For grins and giggles I edited the Wikipedia entry on CAA (immediately below) to reflect what just might be a perverted parallel developing in the Miami Heat triumvirate (following).
“CAA agents employed by the “William Morris Agency” Mike Rosenfield, Michael Ovitz, Ron Myer, William Haber and Rowland Perkins — met over dinner one night in 1975 after they discovered that they all had the same idea in mind: creating an agency of their own. Before they could obtain adequate financing for their new venture, they were fired.
By early 1975, Creative Artists Agency was in business, with a $35 line of credit and a $21,000 bank loan, in a small rented office outfitted with card tables and folding chairs. The five agents had only two cars among them, and their wives took turns as agency receptionist. Within about a week, according to one industry insider, they had sold their first three packages, a game show called ‘Rhyme and Reason’, the ‘Rich Little Show’ and the ‘Jackson Five Show’.
At first, CAA’s founders planned to form a medium-sized, full-service agency — one that was as unlike Morris as possible in approach and feel. Ovitz, who shortly assumed de facto leadership of the agency, described the company’s corporate culture as a blend of Eastern philosophy and team sports. ‘I liken myself to the guy running down the court with four other players and throwing the ball to the open guy, he once said. Their partnership was based on teamwork with proceeds shared equally. There were no nameplates on doors, no formal titles, no individual agent client lists. Practices followed the company’s two ‘commandments’: Be a team player and return phone calls promptly. There was an endless stream of meetings and talk. Because of this, others sometimes referred to CAA agents as the “Moonies” of the business according to the authors of Hit and Run, the best-selling Hollywood insider account by Griffin and Masters.”
“NBA agents employed by the various NBA teams, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, — met over dinner one night at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after they discovered that they all had the same idea in mind: creating a team of their own. Before the next collective bargaining agreement they needed to obtain adequate financing for their new venture.
By mid 2010, The Miami Heat was in business, with a millions of dollars in guaranteed contracts, the keys to the city and large rented offices outfitted with mahogany tables and Herman Miller chairs. The three agents had only two-hundred cars among them, and their better-halves took turns on the agency receptionist screening committee. Within four years they had won their first three championships, redefined Miami’s luxury living market, and built the Boys and Girls Club of America a condominium resort on Miami Beach.”
At first, the Heat founders planned to form a full-sized, medium-service business— one that was as unlike Cleveland as possible in approach and feel. James, who shortly assumed de facto leadership of the team, described the company’s corporate culture as a blend of Eastern Conference philosophy and team sports. ‘I liken myself to the guy running down the court with two other players and throwing the ball to the open guy, he once said. Their partnership was based on teamwork with proceeds shared equally. There were gold nameplates on doors, majestic titles and a collective agent “little black book’. Practices followed the company’s two ‘commandments’: Be a team player and return Tweets promptly. There was an endless stream of meetings and talk. Because of this, others sometimes referred to the Miami agents as the “Monies” of the business according to the author of the best-selling The Book of Basketball II: The NBA According to The Sports Guy written by Bill Simmons.”
“To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day” ~ Winston Churchill