LeBron James can, but Kevin Garnett can’t. And there are good reasons why not.
KG wanted to buy a share in AS Roma, but the Boston Globe reports that Garnett was blocked from that bid. LeBron James is a minority owner in a club as well. The reason why one was legal and one was not all has to do with who owns them, and their affiliation with the NBA.
Kevin Garnett has a strong rooting interest in soccer, Chelsea and AC Milan his preferred clubs. There are several US-based owners of major European clubs, and Garnett last year decided to join them by agreeing to chip in to AS Roma. About the same time, LeBron James joined Fenway Sports Group, which controls Liverpool FC.
When the teams met last month in an exhibition at Fenway Park (Roma beat Liverpool, 2-1) it was revealed Garnett had been excluded from financial involvement with Roma. The NBA blocked the move because AS Roma’s principal investor is Celtics part-owner James Pallotta.
“If you enter into a business agreement with the owner of a team that doesn’t involve playing service, there are potential problems,” a league source said. “Maybe not in this case. But there is a chance of, say, making a contract a lot larger.”
James is allowed to invest in Liverpool because Fenway Sports Group has no connection with the NBA.
So if Garnett wanted to buy a share in any other team, he’d be able to, provided their ownership weren’t involved with the NBA. You’d think you wouldn’t have that kind of overlap, with as many billionaires as there are in the world.
It’s an interesting little development, but in largest part because I want you to imagine Kevin Garnett in a soccer scarf, chanting with a group of hooligans. Maybe picture him with a flag. Saying “oi.” There. Just wanted to share that image with you.
Now that you think about it, considering the insanity expressed by soccer fans, you start to understand why KG likes it so much. He’s tame by their standards.