LeBron James Talks First Generation Wealth and Betting On Himself | Kneading Dough, S.1, E.2

High school graduates straight to the league, I ain’t waiting for my knee to blow yesterday. I was needing this done, get it. I was needing this, though Ron, whatever it’s not on that, you obviously were 18 when you started making in my run, you came from nothing To make it money.

Did you ever stop and think like? Well, I got to make these tough decisions at 21 and 22. Being like a first Generational money maker in the household is a scary thing, and for 18 year old I go from being sitting in classrooms And may graduating high school to being a multi-millionaire. A month later, You know From when we were kids, I mean I was thinking about these. I was fabulous that We dealt with this in like a high level, all of a sudden luminous Like for me.

It was like holy shit now were in this room, and this shit is real. It’S not like. I had that moment.

We were sitting in that room at Reebok and Paul fireman was very smart. He said to you, you know, I know you’re gon na go see. Nike and Adidas, But I’m gon na offer you ten million dollars today. If you don’t go, see them to shake my hand, he offered. He brought you a ten million dollar check in that room and you turned it down. I can’t say I would have turned to done.

I mean I think in the room I said yeah. Let’S take this check and get the hell out of here, but you turned it down. Was it see? What was that?

Thinking with you? Do you remember what I was thinking of? Why you did it right?

I mean I remember. First of all, The one of the longest damp tables adversely my longest table, but a longest ballroom tables I’ve ever seen in my life, and I Had no idea what he was doing at the other end of the table. I just seen him right yeah and He was talking his head down. He was making sure he didn’t get anything wrong on that on that check and When he slid it down there and he said, listen if you take this right now, You know you just promise me, You won’t go talk to Nike or adidas.

You know you can take this right now And – and I was I was lost for words – that at the beginning I mean shit. We flew in. I flew in from Akron Ohio this spring here From the projects I mean, I written is like 17 dollars a month. Now I’m looking at a 10 million dollar check that you can leave with it Yeah And go to high school and go back to the classroom. The next day You were going to homeroom the next one corner homeroom the next morning.

So I’m like holy shit. That’S my first initial thing and then I For some odd reason. I started thinking like If this guy, which is a he’s a great guy, to still love him to this day, He’s an unbelievable guy. But if he’s willing to give me a 10 million dollar check right now, What does this say that Nike or adidas is not willing to give me 20 or 30? You know up front, You know or to say that maybe the upfront money is not even the biggest thing you know.

Maybe let’s start thinking about the back again. You know, and You know I’ve always you know, and that comes from you know my uncle’s as well. Just you know never put all your eggs in one basket, You know and give Give it an opportunity to give people an opportunity to say what they what they got to pitch themselves, And you know we all. We always say that I said we’re gon na hear all three companies. We want to hear all three companies what they have to say. You know what’s their playing and I Can’t I still can’t believe I left that team.

I can’t believe it was there a point that it Really clicked for you like. Okay, now I understand actually the difference between equity and money like like betting on myself, long-term versus just getting some money today, Yeah, oh Wow, I mean, I said, that’s a hell of a question right there and I think I Think when we started to look at Our endorsement deals as partnerships. I think that’s when a lot of us started clicking for me of saying you know what we’re not just here to Hold your product or we’re not here just to talk your product, We’re here to work with you To how we can figure out how that product May look better on that on that bookshelf, you know and how we can live, sometimes not what without even exactly you know and Once we started doing that and I started to seeing us become more and more and more Seasoned at doing that, I was like you Know, there’s no reason why we can’t start our own thing Yeah To a point where we can have our brainstorming opportunities Where, if we come up with something people Want to buy what we got, of course you know and that’s what I think. That’S what a lot of it Had to do it and just to say that you Bet on yourself and you started from ground From the bottom.

That’S it. You started from the bottom And you’ve created something where you can look at it and say wow. We we did that We did that and we all net yeah and we all that’s – that’s a that’s a really cool thing. We both invested in blaze. It’S obviously done very well, But you had a great contract with McDonald’s yeah that was set to pay.

You I Mean you’re, another fourteen or fifteen million dollars left guaranteed, and I came to you with the idea that hey, I think, if you let, let’s get rid of McDonald’s you’ll, give away that money. You won’t make that money, but there’s a better investment. I think we can invest in this thing that a better fit Where you’re going as a person, your lifestyle and B. I think it’s a better business idea. What what is it about that that you went?

I’M okay! I trust that I believe in that. Let’S do that, I believed in to the actual product. First and And like I said, was a great partnership with McDonald’s we had, we had a great time. We did some great things on television, then we did some great things over the years, but I remember we went to UC Irvine, It’s the first ever blaze, first ever blaze And we tasted the product and the product was phenomenal.

You know, and I actually took a pie back back to the hotel as well, and then you came with me with the proposition that we could actually own our own and be franchisees of a couple cities in America and The numbers that you were showing me did. The potential that we can make if we just put the time and effort into it Exceed it. You know what McDonald’s will be guaranteeing me for over the next four years.

But, more importantly, I think for me it was like Oh wow. We get to actually build this, Be a part of speaking a part of something I so get the money, and you forget the money. We can actually build something and, and if it doesn’t become successful, Then I can only blame myself Because I know the product is that damn good, like I taste the product, I went there I’ll see how cool It was to go up there and you just like.

I remember going upon the roast as a kid like Buffy. I want that. I want that. I want bad choice, choices, bull, you eat two minutes, And that was the same thing with the piles.

Like listen, I want this. I want that mix. I want that sauce. I want that ingredient. I want that topping two minutes later you got a fresh pie. I was like if we can, who doesn’t like pizza.

I Don’t know a person in the world, It doesn’t like okay, What kind of died you are? Everyone loves pizza. So I was like, if we can’t make this successful, Then when we are we’re in the wrong business anyway, exactly How do you let that ego go and ask questions like wait. A minute explain this to me. Explain that to me, when you need All that ego to compete the best right throughout this journey of mine I’ll, just like you know, we also about the process.

You know in the process of me trying to become the greatest of all time or maximize. You know my potential as a player. I also have to be able Once I’ll leave battle or leave competition to have to accept the fact that there are certain things that I’m Maybe don’t know or don’t know.

Enough of so I have to ask questions. You know it’s a challenging thing, but at the same time I know that once I get off the floor, There’s gon na be more time of my life spin off the floor, then on the floor, Yeah exact so from age 9 to if you make it to 40, if you make it to 40, that’s 31 years of your life, but from 40 to 85 90. Hopefully I’m lucky to get the 90 that’s 50 years. So you know I still have to live life. You know beyond the hardwood.