CLEVELAND — The New Jersey Nets are on the clock in their courtship of LeBron James.
Nets billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov and rap mogul Jay-Z are in Cleveland to make their pitch to the two-time MVP, who became the most celebrated free agent at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
Prokhorov, who intends to give James a global pitch during New Jersey’s expected two-hour presentation, was accompanied by new Nets coach Avery Johnson and club president Rod Thorn. Jay-Z is a part owner of the Nets and a longtime friend of James.
After landing at Hopkins International Airport at 10:36 a.m. the Nets’ contingent made the short drive to Cleveland to meet with James at the office of his business manager, Maverick Carter. James arrived about eight minutes before New Jersey’s delegation.
James was driven from his home in Akron in a white SUV and was quickly escorted through a side door at the IMG Building, where dozens of reporters and photographers were waiting. Wearing a gray Nike T-shirt and sunglasses, he made a brief stop in the lobby before heading up to Suite 823, the headquarters of LRMR Marketing, the company James began with Carter and two other longtime friends.