If TMZ is correct and LeBron James paid Rabbi Yishayahu Yosef Pinto to sit in on a business meeting yesterday, then the Heat star is officially courting South Florida mogul status.
What better way to ingratiate himself to his new hometown than meet with a celeb rabbi known for providing business advice to New York real estate brokers? Perhaps, for his next move, LeBron will solve South Florida's housing market crisis.
James may be taking a cue from Amar'e Stoudemire, the Florida native and New York
Knicks star who recently flew to Israel to get in touch with his "Hebrew roots." (Note to Stoudemire: Most Jewish people don't refer to themselves as "Hebrews.")
Or, he may be following in the footsteps of that other great Florida mogul, Scott Rothstein. Like the Ponzi schemer, LeBron sought advice from a religious man devoted to a sect of Judaism shrouded in mystery and controversy.
Rothstein developed a close relationship with Rabbi Schneur Kaplan, of the Downtown Jewish Center Chabad in Fort Lauderdale. Kaplan has been criticized by some within the Chabad movement, an evangelical sect that emphasizes more Orthodox traditions. Meanwhile, Rabbi Pinto is a fan of Kabbalah, the mystical side of Judaism, and speaks only in Hebrew.
Rothstein gave generously to the chabad, and James reportedly paid six figures to Pinto's organization.
Finally, the meeting between Rabbi Pinto and the basketball star reportedly took place on a yacht. How much more mogul can you get?
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