Unlike a normal club patron, though, LeBron is famous, so he can get paid massive amounts of money for short personal appearances at these venues. His friends and partners organize the appearances, LeBron makes them, and everyone gets paid. It's part of being a businessman (er, business, man) whose personal brand involves being a fun-loving young star whom a lot of people happen to hate for his perceived selfishness.
Of course, as is often the case when thousands of dollars are at stake, not all these appearances go off without a hitch. Now, LeBron is being sued for a club date that hasn't even happened yet. From Rhonda Cook for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Basketball star LeBron James is taking his talents to one local club, which has left a competing bar feeling stiffed. As a result, the offended club has called out the lawyers.
Atlanta's Opera nightclub is suing the Miami Heat player and the Gold Room over an appearance James is scheduled to make later this month. A hearing on the request for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction is set for Thursday in Fulton Superior Court.
In a complaint filed Monday, Opera accuses James of reneging on a promise to appear for one hour on March 17, for which he was to be paid $25,000, or $417 a minute.
I am not a fan of clubs -- unless it has a ridiculous theme like the inside looking like a sidewalk -- so perhaps I'm not the person to judge the validity of this claim. Nevertheless, it strikes me as bizarre that anyone would visit a club for a chance to buy LeBron a $20 martini that tastes like Propel. There must be some draw, though, or else it wouldn't be worth paying 25-grand for an hour of his time. Maybe they let you pour a quarter of the vodka bottle on the floor for free.
However, while you may think that this is a story about LeBron James, there is actually a much more interesting tale at play. As noted by Matt Moore at Eye on Basketball, LeBron's booking agent is professionally known as "Chubbie Baby." Please take some time to marvel at the gall of a man who wishes to be known by this sort of name in a professional capacity, and at LeBron's willingness to employ him. Truly, he knows the value of loyalty, no matter what you think of his actions towards the Cavaliers last summer.
Please also note that Dwyane Wade(notes) is not involved in this suit. He prefers to party in the privacy of his own home, typically right after a workout while everyone else wears normal party apparel.