MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When LeBron James came to the Miami Heat in 2010, he joined Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form the Big Three. But LeBron may be about to form a new tandem to storm through another sport.
James confirmed on Monday that he is interested in exploring partnering with David Beckham to put a new Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.
“There’s some interest on both sides,” James said Monday. “David has become a good friend of mine over the last few years. I think it’d be great for this city to have a football club for sure. So there’s interest on both sides. But it’s preliminary talks but there is an open dialogue.”
James continued, saying the research is still being done on a team in Miami, but, “It could be huge, but you never know.”
“I think this is a great town for soccer. There’s a lot of soccer players here. A great youth of soccer players here and people love the city, so that would definitely help,” James said.
Beckham has been looking for a home to a new team and hopes to have a decision by the end of the year. He’s reportedly zeroed in on Miami and was in town last week to look at Marlins Park and FIU’s football stadium as possible temporary homes for the new team.
MLS would want the city/county/ownership to build a new soccer-only stadium if a franchise is awarded to Beckham and Miami.
The possible teaming of Beckham and James would give Miami arguably the two most iconic figures in their sports to South Florida.
James has said he’s learned a lot about the game in the last few years and that soccer is a “pretty intense sport.”
As part of his contract with MLS six years ago, he was given the option to buy a franchise for a deeply discounted $25 million upon his retirement. He retired last spring, said he’d like to exercise the option.
If Beckham chose Marlins Park for a temporary home, scheduling would be difficult as MLS and Major League Baseball both play in the summer and each sport would require different configurations to the stadium.
The news may excite Heat fans as well. If James is exploring owning a team in Miami, it may signal he’s interested in staying in Miami past this season.
James can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2014 season.