James eager for role with Beckham's Miami franchise

Wed Feb 5, 2014 11:58pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Miami Heat forward LeBron James, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, said on Wednesday he hoped to be involved with David Beckham's plan to bring a Major League Soccer (MLS) team to Miami.

Former England soccer captain Beckham, who has become a close friend of James in recent years and often attends Heat games in Miami, announced earlier on Wednesday he had exercised his option to become the owner of an MLS team in that city.

"Hopefully I can be," James told Reuters when asked if he was involved in Beckham's bid to build a world-class soccer team, as yet unnamed, in Florida.

"Right now, there are some things that need to be worked out but I think it's exciting for the city of Miami."

James, who spoke to Reuters shortly before taking to the court in Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center, already has a minority ownership stake with English Premier League team Liverpool.

The 10-time National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star and twice NBA champion has developed a good knowledge of soccer over the past two years and met several of the Liverpool players when he toured the club in 2012.

"I have grown a great interest in watching the game and learning the guys," James, 29, told reporters in November about his burgeoning appreciation for soccer.

"It's a pretty intense sport and my kids love it as well. I've grown to the point where I know exactly what's going on when I'm watching the game.   Continued...

Jan 29, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) is pressured by Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports - RTX180HC