As the saying goes, winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing. I am pretty sure Alexander the Great said that, but no one knows for sure. The interpretation has been lost through the ages. Nonetheless, for professional athletes, the sentiment remains true — winning is the best, even just for the sake of winning.
But sometimes, what comes along with winning is even better than just winning. Case in point, LeBron James’ promise to the English soccer team he co-owns, Liverpool FC, should they win the Barclays Premier League. From the Daily Mail:
NBA superstar LeBron James has handed Liverpool players a huge incentive to get their season on track and land silverware this season: a massive party in Las Vegas. [...]
James has vowed to give the players a lavish party they will never forget in Sin City, co-hosted by his pal, rap star Kanye West.
LeBron told The Sun: ‘I spent some time with Steven Gerrard and he is passionate about his team.
‘Everybody in sport needs incentive and if the guys at Liverpool win something this year I will give them the best weekend of their life in Vegas.
‘Kanye is in and trust me, nobody does Vegas like LeBron and Kanye.’
LeBron added: ‘We will take them to places in Vegas 99 per cent of people don’t even know exist. There is Vegas and then there is Vegas.’
Everything about this is great. Bringing Kanye West along, LeBron assuming that the most perfect incentive imaginable is getting to hang out with him and his rapper friend in Vegas, the idea of an underground super Vegas that you’re not even allowed to talk about in Vegas, LeBron kind of admitting that you need something else besides just the championship — all of it.
Bottle after bottle of “Ace of Spades” champagne is delivered to the table by a waiter flying down from above the dance floor like some overgrown Peter Pan on a wire. One time he’s dressed like a King, another time as Indiana Jones and another in a replica of James’ No. 6 Miami Heat jersey.
James, who can hardly see the flying figure through his tinted glasses, almost gets kicked in the head on the waiter’s last trip down. He looks at the girls around him and says, “I wish they’d have one of these girls with no panties do that instead of the guy.”
If that’s not incentive to bring home a crowned trophy, I don’t know what is. Between this and LeBron giving everybody headphones, these guys must be extra motivated.
Unfortunately, Liverpool is kind of doing terrible. And by “kind of,” I mean “big-time.” They’re currently in next-to-last place, notching only a single point through the season’s first three games, while already tallying a goal differential of minus-5. And that’s coming off their worst finish (eighth) in 18 years which directly led to the club losing their adidas sponsorship. So if there’s ever a team that could use a Vegas trip with LeBron, it’s probably Liverpool. But also, pretty safe bet from LeBron that he won’t actually show them his secret Vegas party zones.
It’s the best of both worlds for LeBron. If the Reds win, he gets to party in Vegas. If they don’t, he gets to keep his money and his secrets. Smart.
UPDATE: One of LeBron’s PR guys denies this happened and that LeBron’s party promise is “total bs British tabloid stuff.” Which is fine, since Liverpool isn’t winning the Premier League anyways. Oh well. I guess we’ll never know if those secret Vegas spots really exist or not.
(via I Am a GM)