You know those stories where a random guy buys a painting and some mismatched golf clubs at a local garage sale for $8, then he gets home and realizes that there is a Picasso in the frame behind the landscape watercolor he just purchased? I like those stories. You like those stories. Everyone does. It makes us feel like we could be so lucky to accidentally buy a very expensive piece of art for very cheap and then retire to live some place that has hammocks hanging between every two trees. Well, it happened again, but not with a painting. Instead, it's a garish piece of LeBron James(notes) jewelry that's at the center of this story.
Vaneisha Robinson, an amateur boxer, bought the diamond-studded pendant for $5 at a yard sale, then had it appraised by a jeweler who told her the jewelry was worth $10,000. Then, because it's 2010 and the Internet is a thing, Robinson put the tiny jersey on eBay. Then the story gets weird.
From Newsnet5.com's Curtis Jackson, who probably isn't 50 Cent:
On Wednesday, Robinson said she got a phone call that turned her dream into a nightmare. Robinson said it was Katherine L. Powers, the mother of Maverick O. Carter. Carter is the CEO of LeBron James' marketing company, LRMR.
"[Powers] said that LeBron James was at her house and they wanted me to come over there. They were going to make me an offer that I couldn't refuse," Robinson said.
It turned out the one-of-a-kind pendant belongs to Carter, who claims it was stolen. Robinson said she and her mother went to the Wadsworth house Carter shares with his mother, believing James was going to buy the pendant and give it back to Carter.
OK, great. This makes sense now, kind of. Of course one of LeBron James' high school friends would have a diamond-encrusted miniature replica of the two-time MVP's jersey. That seems right up their alley, really.
But what was the offer Robinson couldn't refuse? Well, it turned out to be very Vito Corleone-y.
"When I got there, LeBron James was not there. It was about eight or nine other people there," Robinson said. "They pretty much accused me, they threatened me and they used their authority to they (sic) best ability to get the pendant in their possession."
Robinson said she and her mother drove to Carter's house in the 500 block of Caledonia Drive in her mother's pickup truck.
"They blocked her truck in the driveway. They told us that we weren't going anywhere until they got that pendant. I was scared for my life," she said.
Not only was LeBron not there, neither was Carter. It sounds like Carter's mom and some of the local neighborhood guys got together and scared the bejeezus out of Robinson, all for a diamond-studded jersey. Super-cool move.
Now, Robinson wants the pendant back, saying there was no serial number on the pendant "so it's untraceable" and that "it belongs to me."
Naturally, the case is under investigation and would make for the worst heist movie of all-time. And while this doesn't really have anything to do with James, it doesn't really disprove the notion that LeBron's friends are ridiculous and ill-suited as advisors. Furthermore, this whole thing exposed Carter as the kind of guy who would spend a significant amount of money on jewelry based on his friend, which is unfathomably lame.