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January 16, 2013

 

January 16, 2013

 
 
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Cover It Live

January 16, 2013

 

Weighing the pros and cons of marriage and a prenup on the NBA star’s tainted brand.

 

originally on Black Enterprise.com

 

After years of dating, Miami Heat guard LeBron James finally proposed to the mother of his two sons, and high school sweetheart, Savannah Brinson. The NBA all-star popped the question at SL Nightclub in Miami during a New Year’s Evecelebration, which doubled as his 27th birthday party, with a ring reportedly worth $300,000. While news of the engagement is certainly reason to celebrate, given the growing trend of high profile NBA divorces and just as a rule of thumb for anyone with a lot of assets, some suggest James should also err in the side of caution.

According to Forbes.com, three out of the top five most hated NBA players—Kris HumphriesKobe Bryant and Tony Parker—have gone through very public and costly divorces. Coincidentally, following his controversial move from Cleveland to Miami, James is second on that list of despised basketball stars. If his marriage where to fail due to infidelity or any other public disgrace, his image and brand could go from bad to worse. Furthermore, James’ wallet could get hit just as hard. Bryant will be digging deep into his pockets as his ex-wife is reported to be getting $75 million of his earnings, since a prenuptial agreement was not signed.

Celebrity divorce attorney, Raoul Felder, who’s also known as “the Duke of Divorce,” gives three simple pieces of advice to superstar athletes like James embarking on the road to marriage. “Prenup, prenup, prenup,” says Felder, who has handled the divorce cases of World Heavyweight Champions Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe, NBA legend Patrick Ewing and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. “I’ve had athletes come into my office saying they didn’t want to create a prenup for fear of hurting their spouse. But I promise it will hurt more when she’s taking half.”

According to Felder, though, divorce doesn’t always have to ruin an athlete’s image. Public perception tends to sway towards the negative when there is an oddity or extreme case of infidelity like Tiger Woods and his ex-wife, Elin Nordegren.

If an athlete still doesn’t want to heed Felder’s advice, he suggests a post-nuptial agreement, which is generally harder to implement because the wife (or dependent spouse) generally has most of the negotiating power. If she doesn’t agree with the terms, the only thing left is divorce where she could receive the bulk of the reward. Another option is for an athlete is to create separate bank accounts for funds acquired before and after marriage. Therefore, if the union does end in divorce it’s easier to distinguish which funds the spouse has a right to. “Athlete divorce cases are interesting because many times their worth is represented by future earnings and endorsements,” Felder says. “A player could stop playing tomorrow but still be worth millions and his spouse could have access to that money.”

Pro golfer Tiger Woods at press conference

According to Forbes.com, James made $14.5 million in salary and an additional $30 million in endorsements last year. Sports Illustrated also listed him as the third highest earning athlete in the United States in 2011, right behind golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. With that in mind, the seven-time NBA All-Star would be wise to protect himself as Brinson would be in for a huge pay day if the marriage ended without a prenup in place.

However, marriage doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom for the two-time NBA MVP. Marvet Britto, President and CEO of The Britto Agency, a public relations firm, says the impending nuptials could actually boosts James’ image, which took a nosedive after his “decision” to leave his hometownCleveland Cavaliers in favor of the Miami Heat in 2010. “Marriage helps players because it positions them as a more responsible, more structured athlete and in turn makes them more desirable to consumers and endorsers,” says Britto, who has represented a host of athletes including NBA stars Latrell SprewellStephon Marbury and Tyson Chandler. “Staying unmarried to Savannah and having multiple children doesn’t help LeBron, who is trying to recreate his image after leaving Cleveland. It benefits him more to make the commitment.”

Although marriage can improve an athlete’s brand, Britto doesn’t advise James to take the leap just for the sake of his image. She says a single man can build just as lucrative of a brand as a married one, the key is remaining true to who you are. Twelve-time MLB All-Star, five-time World Series champion and lifetime bachelor, Derek Jeter is a prime example of this. If James isn’t mature enough to be married, one public slip up in his marriage could send him right back into the role of villain that he fell into in the summer of 2010.

As a safety net, marriage expert and author of Before You Wed… Read This Darryl Cobbin advises James and any other individual looking to protect his/her assets to sit down with their partner and write down their expectations for each other, determine what is important and discuss them together. For James and Brinson, this may mean discussing participation in impromptu decision-making shows or preseason championship-like celebrations and most importantly a prenuptial agreement.

Using his NBA buddies as cautionary tales, James should contemplate what he wants his brand to be and how he will secure his hard-earned fortune before he walks down the aisle. “LeBron James’ life can either be a warning or an example,” Cobbin. “It’s up to him to make the decision.”

From Josephine Baker’s Banana skirt to Tina Turner shaking a tailfeather to the emergence of Beyonce and Bootylicious. Rump has always been on the main menu.

Lady Godiva- Her naked booty ended taxation in her town. Now that's change!

So it’s no surprise that Erykah Badu recently used her rump roast to make a socially conscious statement.

If you’ve been under a rock here is the background  story on Badu BootyGate 2010:
Erykah Badu got naked in her recent music video “Window Seat” (scroll down to see video)  in one of Dallas’ busiest outdoor plazas and after it aired she was later charged with disorderly conduct for the nudity in the video (she filmed with no permit and then got naked).
Just recently she pleaded not guilty to the charge. Badu got naked in the video to emphasize being born again and stripping ones self of “Group Think” and mob mentality. At least that’s what I gathered from it. I dig.

At first I asked myself, “Why would she plead not guilty to the charge? Ummm we all saw her booty in the video?” And she damn near shut down Twitter with all the mentions of her Rumpasaurus” (shout out to @bomani_jones for that one).

Then it dawned on me that she pleaded not guilty because she was using the Donk to make a statement. To spark CHANGE! Her booty was similar to an Obama speech, trying to drum up support and open minds around the world.

I mostly just sit on my ass all day,  so that is pretty impressive.

Here are some other socially conscious Apple Bottoms that make me proud to be part of the Rumpasaurus Rex Clan.

  • Lady Godivaan 11th century Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry, in England, in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants. BTW it worked, taxes were dropped.
  • Serena Williams-The Cover of ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue=My Body Idol
  • Naked Chicks protesting KFC – The Double Down is wrong. And my momma worked at KFC as a teenager and the stories she tells make me say Down With the Colonel!
  • PETA– The Original Gangstas of the Naked Protest.
I never realized the political power of boobs and booty. A woman naked in front of the Capitol building would cause more stir than any bill being drawn up inside.
Here’s to the Power of the Booty! Keep it shaking ladies.

I’m sure there were some other socially responsible rumps I missed. Leave a comment. Let me know.

Like every other championship team  from a major sport, the Yankees went to meet the President  . But this time it was different. They were meeting Soul Brother No.1,  a very informed and die-hard sports fan. Don’t try to joke on Obama or his teams or you will feel his wrath. Just ask Yankees’ Assistant GM Jean Aftermant.

Obama may make you feel extremely comfortable around him. But remember, there are just certain things you don't say around the leader of the free world.

According to ESPN.com  

President Obama, who had just professed his love for the Chicago White Sox and made some jokes at the Yankees and other teams’ expense, went to pick up the World Series trophy for a picture with Joe Girardi. On the dais, Yankees’ Assistant GM Jean Aftermant sat with the rest of the Yankees.  

“Let him hold it,” Afterman said loudly. “He may not get another chance again.”  

The president retorted, “And you wonder why the other teams don’t root for you.”  

BOOM! The President hit you with the one-hitter quitter. Sit down mam.
The team executive later  regretted the remark and was extremely apologetic to the president. She feared that her comments would be misconstrued as “Republican” when she is really the ultimate supporter of Obama.  

She says she made the comment because:   

“One of his geniuses, one of his enormous talents is to make everyone feel comfortable and make you feel like you can engage what I like to think of as witty repartee with the leader of the free world.”  

She has a point. Obama is just the coolest. His ultra-smooth gait, confidence and sports knowledge makes him feel like your cool friend who just walked into the sports bar during the 3rd quarter. You can’t wait to joke with him and do a rundown of the game. But one must remember, Obama is NOT, I repeat, NOT YOUR HOMEBOY. He is the leader of the free world.  

People seem to get too comfortable around him and forget the office that he represents. From Yankees execs to idiotic Republicans who yell out crap during congressional meetings, the respect just isn’t there.  

So if you are ever lucky enough to meet Obama, first call me and hook me up,then remember this list of things NOT TO DO AROUND SOUL BROTHER NO.1 

1. Do not try to dap up the president.  

2. Do not ask him if he has heard Jeezy’s song “My President’s Black” and then proceed to play it for him on your cell phone  

3. Don’t ask him what wave grease he uses. Or ask Michelle where she gets her hair did.  

4. Don’t try to discuss the latest episode of the Boondocks with him.  

5. Do not ask him if those are 20’s on his ride.  

6.  And please, please don’t ask him the name of the incense he has burning in the Oval Office.  

He may be Soul Brother No.1, but he is the COUNTRY’S Main Man, respect the office. Respect The Man.  

Fist up.

Lakers GM Lost in OKC

April 22, 2010

Can you spot Mitch Kupchak in this picture?

In a sea of blue, Mitch Kupcak stands alone. Now that's gangsta. (photo via @ArashMarkazi)

I hope those weren’t his seats?