LeBron hobnobs with rich (Buffett), famous (Letterman)

Updated: September 21, 2006, 8:22 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James spent part of the past week shooting hoops with Dave and eating cheeseburgers with one of the world's richest men.

During a taped appearance on "Late Show With David Letterman" that will air Friday, the Cavaliers' star forward took on the talk show host in a 5-shot competition outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in midtown Manhattan.

James fired shots from 3-point range while Letterman took free throws. Before their matchup, Letterman interviewed James on a range of subjects, including his high school days, his quick ascension to NBA star and playing for the United States in the world championships this summer.

A few days earlier, James had lunch in Omaha, Neb., with billionaire Warren Buffett. Keith Estabrook, a spokesman for James, said the two met over milkshakes, adding the player has "great respect for Mr. Buffett."

James, who signed a three-year, $60 million contract extension with the Cavaliers in July, may have been seeking some off-the-court business advice from Buffett, the self-made billionaire investor.

Last year, in an interview with The Associated Press, James said one of his primary goals was to "be the richest man in the world." James, who will turn 22 in December, already has endorsement deals worth an estimated $150 million.

Buffett sported a full Cavaliers uniform, complete with a jersey bearing his name, during his lunch with James and others, said Jen Bubarek, a waitress at Crescent Moon Ale House.

James ordered a bacon cheeseburger, french fries and an Arnold Palmer, a drink concocted of lemonade and iced tea. Bubarek said he topped off his meal with an Oreo cookie milkshake delivered by a Buffett staffer.

The waitress said Buffett frequents the casual restaurant, so it was "business as normal" for the staff. But, she said, a group seated near Buffett's table recognized James and asked to take his photo.

"He was very, very kind. He took pictures and signed autographs," she said.

In January, Buffett visited the restaurant with New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

James was first invited to be a guest on Letterman's show when he was in high school at Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. But scheduling conflicts delayed him making his late-night debut, which was taped Monday night.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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