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Marketing Agent Maverick Carter Discusses Decision 2.0 With ESPN

LeBron James and Johnny Manziel share the same marketing agent, Maverick Carter. Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James and Johnny Manziel share the same marketing agent, Maverick Carter.
Photo courtesy of Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN reporter Jason Whitlock recently had the well-known sports marketer, Maverick Carter, on his podcast ‘Real Talk’.

Carter — who is the Founder of LRMR Management — is the marketing agent for both LeBron James and Johnny Manziel.  With James’ recent move back home to Cleveland, Carter instantly has become one of the most powerful individuals in the sports marketing space.

In this week’s podcast, Whitlock and Carter discussed Decision 2.0, whether James’ management team pushed him to Cleveland, the latest news surrounding Johnny Manziel and other pertinent news relevant to LeBron’s signing with Cleveland.  You can listen to the full conversation here.

Carter’s thoughts on Decision 2.0…

“It was a decision (LeBron) wanted to make in his heart, and he wanted to go back and play for Cleveland for reasons bigger than basketball. …Most importantly, he feels confident going back there.  Like he said in the announcement, he’s not promising anything, except that he’s going to come back and play his heart out.”

On Carter and LeBron’s contract agent, Chris Paul, pushing James to Cleveland…

“This was a decision LeBron made in his heart.  We didn’t push him to do it.  We don’t push him to do anything.  If he asks our opinion or what did we think about the pros and the cons, we help him think through it.  We don’t push him.  Listen, LeBron’s a 29-year-old man with lots of money, got a wife, two kids, one on the way.  He makes his own decisions.  He doesn’t need anyone pushing him any way, and a guy like that, you’re not going to push him either way.  We’ll help him think through things and help him see through things, but he makes his own decision in his heart.  Because, ultimately, he has to live with it.  I’m not the one who has to show up and play games for any team.”

How much Decision 1.0 shaped Decision 2.0…

“LeBron wanted to make sure — as he said in the letter — that he got all of his points across about why he was going back and playing with Cleveland.  He didn’t want to be interrupted.  He didn’t want anyone else’s words, why he was going back, sources speculating it was this, it was that. He wanted it completely from his heart and from his mouth.  That was the main goal, and I think he accomplished it.”

On LeBron having a bigger message for African American and young people…

“He does want to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, basketball players to ever play the game.  He understands that there is a bigger story for him to deliver, and he has a bigger message than just being a great basketball player.”

On Johnny Manziel, who Carter also represents on the marketing side…

“Johnny is a fantastic young man, but he is still young.  He is making a transition from a college kid to a young man to being a professional.  He’s enjoying the process. …Whether you’re going into a job as a journalist or a job in sales or to being a quarterback, it’s a process.  He’s enjoying it.  He’s a fantastic guy with a big heart.  He loves people, he loves to work hard. He’s looking forward to working his butt off in camp.”

On conversations with Johnny Manziel about social media “controversies”…

“I speak to Johnny at least daily or at least every other day. …Some of these so-called controversies, I’m not sure they are controversies.  A picture of a guy out living his life, having a good time, I don’t know if that’s considered a controversy.  I think most of us are in controversies every other day or night, having a good time, enjoying a drink if you’re 21.  If that’s a controversy, then the world is one big controversy.  He understands who he is, and people are taking pictures of him all the time.  He gets that. …I’m not going to tell him to stop having fun.  He’s a 21-year-old young man. …He’s not hurting anyone,  He’s not beating anyone up or doing anything that’s criminal.  Have fun.  People will adjust.”