Who the hell is Maverick Carter?

Maverick was a kitschy, Mel Gibson riverboat gambling movie, remade from the original starring James Garner.  Maverick is also Tom Cruise’s character’s name in the 1980s classic, Top Gun.  Unfortunately for LeBron James, however, Maverick Carter is not a fictional character.  He’s all too real… and he might just be single-handedly destroying the image of one of the most talented athletes we’ve ever seen.

LeBron James stole this summer’s spotlight when he decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and sign with the Miami Heat.  Most fans, and many former players, resented James for his decision, but were even more dissatisfied with the way he went about his business.  Although LeBron’s nationally-aired “Decision” raised three million dollars for charity, most felt the way he left Cleveland was inconsiderate and self-centered.

Enter Maverick Carter, LeBron’s chief advisor and consultant, the man hand-picked to promote and protect LeBron’s brand.  After the “Decision,” LeBron’s image took a huge hit.  The man who could once do no wrong now can’t seem to do anything right, for now comes a CNN interview in which James said the continued ill will towards him might be racially motivated.

CNN reporter, Soledad O’Brien: “Do you think there’s a role that race plays in this?”

James: “I think so at times… It’s always a race factor.”

This was the very definition of a pitfall question and James fell for it hook, line and sinker.  If race wasn’t a factor, it is now and LeBron’s image, which was only slowly starting to repair itself, took another unnecessary hit.

Look, O’Brien, had no business asking that question in the first place, but where was Maverick to shield LeBron from a question such as this.  Within a month, James has gone from being one of the country’s most revered athletes to one of its most resented.  And Maverick Carter has been in the drivers seat for all of it.  James would be better off taking advice from Nell Carter.

In one of the best articles written about the incident to date, Bleacher Report’s Brandon Williams wrote…

“the lack of specifics that Maverick spewed out only makes you and those around you look uneducated about the true sense of racism and the harsh and tragic realities that have resulted from decades of banal, closed-minded thinkers.  To have Carter spray the crowd with such a volatile round of verbal ammunition at a time where race relations have far bigger meaning beyond your perceived slight to ego is further indication that, while your athletic talents remain nearly beyond reproach, the maturation of LeBron James has light years to go.”

Carter and James have been tight since high school.  There’s no doubt James trusts him with his life… but should he?  Carter became James’ agent in 2005, but I’d fire my financial advisor (if I had one) if he were consistently giving me bad advice.  Why did Carter not pre-approve these questions or at least prepare James from being blindsided?  We make light of Drew Rosenhaus repeatedly answering “Next question” at a Terrell Owens press conference years ago but at least he had his client’s best interests at stake.  Does Maverick?

In the end, everyone involved here is to blame: O’Brien for asking such an irrelevant question, James for answering it so half-assed if he honestly felt racism was a factor and Maverick Carter for even allowing this discussion to occur in the first place.

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24 Replies to “Who the hell is Maverick Carter?”

  1. Chris

    I believe that he has a law (JD) but to my mind his degree in actually in ‘pimpology’ ! That being said a lot of what he does or says in public concerning James isn’t done without his client’s distinct approval. Ere’go his statement about James’ departure from Cleveland and race being a part of it was also backed by the player himself. In that context both come across as being illiterate buffoons without much common sense !

    Team USA gets their as_ses hand to them in the Ryder Cup and everyone believes it was a gallant effort. Perhaps the idiots making the claims ought to look more closely at what took place and who didn’t perform up to par rather than making rather asinine statements !

    And No Not Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining !

    tophatal 🙂

  2. Ya’ know what’s ironic about this whole thing, Al?

    Athletes are always told to lose their ‘posses’ when they sign that first big paycheck for fear of their old buddies dragging them down or getting them into trouble.

    Isn’t LeBron essentially doing the same thing with Mav?

    Carter has the educational background to be qualified to be BronBron’s agent but so far his actions haven’t shown it.

    Would it surprise anyone if these two parted ways any time soon?

  3. I would comment on your wonderful article sir, but I’m afraid that my remarks would be considered as racist.

  4. Carter is one of the worst agents of all time. It almost promted me to make a list of the worst agents of all time, but there were just too many to put on that list! He hasn’t earned anything, and seems to be losing Lebron sponsors by putting him in bad situations. I hope Lebron realizes it before he’s 30…

  5. Problem is, Chap, he trusts Mav. They went to high school together, played basketball together and have been tight since.

    Mav is educationally and professionally qualified to manage LeBron’s career. Unfortunately, his decision-making over the past few months has shown differently.

  6. Thanks for swinging by, Derrick.

    Everyone, let’s give a warm SportsChump welcome to our newest subscriber, Mr. Derrick Rose.

    He likes puppy dogs, ice cream, Chicago Bulls point guards and the color green.

    Take a bow, sir, and we do hope to see you again soon.

  7. Even Nell’s advice from the grave!

    RIP Nell Carter…an absolutely huge talent (no pun intended of course)

  8. Chris

    Everyone was up in arms when the Lakers got Gasol on the cheap. Now here’s a fact that some may not be privee’ to …… LeBron and Carter have a management agency and guess who recently signed with them as client ? Wade and Bosh …….. how comes there’s no cry of collusion at all by anyone from Stern’s office ?

    This _igga'(me) says that this is bull ! LBJ should consider himself he’s never been on or worked on a plantation ….. dumb a_s using ‘race’ as a crutch.

    tophatal 🙂

  9. Ummm…maybe he meant “race for a World Championship.”

    I’m baaaaaack in Florida. Thanks for the cooler weather.

  10. Al…

    So assuming the Heat’s big three have all signed on with Mav, should we also assume a first round exit?

    I’m assuming that team could pretty much market themselves.

    Or at least let ESPN do it.

  11. Elizabeth…

    By the way Team USA has performed of late in international competition, it’s best we just call it the ‘North American championships,’ for Spain and Argentina have both given quite a run for our money.

    Good to have you back.

  12. Chris

    Both Wade and Bosh still retain their respective agents but all other business is conducted via Carter and the management firm. In many ways it circumvents any conflict of interest. But the ethics behind it all is surreptitious.

    No truth to the rumor that Clayton Bigsby wants to meet up with both LeBron and Carter.

    Chris answer me this you were all for Hellickson being on the Rays’ postseason roster which he’s not . But what in God’s name is Baldelli doing there ? He’s only had 20 plus at bats and now he’s the DH for the team ? Is Maddon sniffin’ glue or something ? You tell me because after last night’s display he’s got no one to blame but himself . All this crap ’bout the guys having good at bats … did he actually watch the game or did a bout of narcolepsy overcome him ?

    The Rangers whupped up on the Rays’ a_s and that’s it. Price couldn’t get into his groove and once the first inning went by you simply knew that the Rays were out of it .

    What else can be said about Halliday .. regular season pitches a perfect game postseason a no hitter. ‘nough said !

    Now What’s The Dog And Pony Show Really About Anyone Care To Ask Members of The Miami Heat ?

    tophatal 🙂

  13. Well, Al, I can’t defend what the Rays have done so far.

    Clearly beating Lee is a tough enough task but they certainly didn’t give Price any help.

    Maddon will continue to take heat for his decision to start Shields in Game Two but the bottom line is… this team has to hit. And they’re not. In Game Two, they made CJ Wilson look like Lee, Halladay and Lincecum combined.

    I do think they got a raw deal on that Young check swing but excuses are like assholes. Everybody’s got one and they all stink.

    Baldelli in the Game One lineup is a question mark to all involved, which was why he was sent down for “medical reasons” shortly thereafter.

    It’s a mess right now, Al. The Rays have to hope for a solid performance from Garza in Game Three, beating Lee on the road in Game Four and a rowdy home field in Game Five.

    All is not lost but the bats need to wake up.

  14. I think I would have gone with Amy Carter there…although I definitely enjoyed the Nell reference!

    Doesn’t look good for your Rays. At least you still have the Bucs once the Rangers finish them off! Hey, a 5-11 season is an improvement right?

  15. Amy Carter, or perhaps Billy, Jimmy’s brother. Wait, he passed away too, didn’t he?

    Drew, all the Rays have to do to advance is have Garza win Game Three (not all that difficult), beat Cliff Lee in Texas in Game Four (kinda difficult) and force a final home game.

    Piece of cake. I like the chances of that happening more than I do the Bucs winning in Cincinnati this weekend.

  16. His full answer to that question was that he thought people were reading too much into it. Race is always a factor was him just saying “I’m still black, and it’s not like racism is gone, I’m not naive.”

    Basically the media has turned on the guy and it’s not going to love him again until he wins a championship. That’s the deal the TV Gods made and they’ll hold him to it. Once they do, he’s back living the high life.

  17. Pest…

    I’m not even sure LeBron will be (re)loved even with a ring or two. He might always be perceived as a sell-out or the guy who couldn’t do it on his own.

    And as long as they’re teammates, Wade will always have one more than him.

  18. Pingback: Sports Chump » Chumpservations, Vol. 19: Haunted houses, abdominal crunches, indiscreet Tweets and the trials of the nicknameless

  19. Why does everyone keep saying that Maverick Carter is educationally qualified to do this job? This guy not only has no college degree, but he barely graduated from high school!

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