Lebron James Looking For Interns To Build His Website For Free

Lebron James wants to hire interns to help build his web presence:

Even though LeBron James is getting ready for Game 4 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night, he still has time to share with the world that he is looking for a couple of star interns.

Early Tuesday, “King James”, 28, shared a link on his Facebook page to a job description for college interns to help work on his website, LeBronJames.com.

The LeBronJames.com internship program has openings for students “who have an interest in online content development and digital sports marketing,” the job posting states.

Candidates must currently attend college or a four-year university and be available at least 10 hours a week.

Among the desired qualifications for the spring, summer and fall internships are residency in Ohio, South Florida or New York and Spanish fluency.

The deadline to apply is June 4 at 10 a.m. ET.

Requests for comment to James’ publicist and LeBronJames.com were not immediately returned.

The job description does not specify financial remuneration.

Meanwhile, the power forward of the Miami Heat is the second-highest paid U.S. athlete. He earned $56.5 million in the last year, $17.5 million of which was his salary and $39 million of which came from endorsements, according to Sports Illustrated. Included in his endorsement contracts are deals with Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Samsung.

Well, to answer the remuneration question, the title “intern” typically implies that one is not being paid except for a stipend to cover living expenses. Given the amount of money he earns, couldn’t Lebron afford to hire a professional web design firm to handle this stuff for him?

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Sports
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. John Peabody says:

    1. Maybe there’s a tax deal
    2. Rich people stay rich by being as cheap as possible.

  2. john personna says:

    Well, either you are for the whole intern thing or against it, but given that it is limited to currently enrolled students, it doesn’t seem a cheat. As long as the system exists, students will try to get the internships for their resumes.

    “I worked for Lebron James” also makes a good interview story.

  3. @john personna:

    Yea this is a fair point. Although, the whole issue about what is and is not properly an internship is something that gets debated a lot here in the D.C. area. In fact, with colleges letting out now, the new wave of Capitol Hill and K Street interns is just starting to hit the D.C. streets. They arrive as regularly as the Cherry Blossoms.

  4. Well, to answer the remuneration question, the title “intern” typically implies that one is not being paid except for a stipend to cover living expenses.

    Depends on the industry. Specifically, IT internships are usually paid.

  5. john personna says:

    FWIW, I probably prefer a minimum wage uniformly applied (see also au pairs and camp counselors). It’s not like even $10 is over the moon.

  6. Sam Malone says:

    If you are carrying an iPhone you are endorsing, at least financially, what is essentially slave labor.
    So why not James?
    At least the interns that work for James will gain real world experience, have a finished product to show for their efforts, and perhaps gain useful professional connections.
    Can we say the same about the people at Foxconn making Apple products?

  7. john personna says:

    @Sam Malone:

    Yup, that’s why “free trade” should not be implemented as “zero tariff.”

    A 4% tariff on the dockside value of an iphone ($400?) would help pay for the ol’ safety net.

  8. @john personna:

    And suppose the factory gets moved back to the US, then what happens to the workers? They get to go back to being fuedal serfs in rural China?

  9. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Although, the whole issue about what is and is not properly an internship is something that gets debated a lot here in the D.C. area.

    Legally, if the work the intern is doing is adding value to the company’s bottom line, then they have to get paid. An internship is supposed to be for the educational benefit of the intern, not for the benefit of the company’s finances.

    What James is doing looks like a cheat, since he’s obviously going to profit from the website.

  10. Rafer Janders says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    They get to go back to being fuedal serfs in rural China?

    False dichotomy. It’s not like China doesn’t have companies of its own.

  11. @Rafer Janders:

    It’s not like China doesn’t have companies of its own.

    Yeah. Like Foxconn.

  12. anjin-san says:

    Nothing unusual about this. Every major league sports franchise has interns doing grunt work for a trivial stipend while the big boys sit in luxury boxes and sip single malt. I see no reason why an individual athlete should not do the same. I know people who have nice careers in professional sports who started out as interns – its a foot in the door, and an opportunity to interact with people who can help your career down the road.

    The perks can be pretty nice. In 2010, the SF Giants flew the entire front office staff, interns included, to see the World Series games in Texas. The team covered all expenses. Not a bad experience for a 19 year old.

    So is this fair? Maybe, maybe not. A high percentage of the professional sports interns I have come across are extremely attractive young women. They get more opportunities. Life is not fair.

    There are certainly worse things in life than having a chance to work for one of the most famous athletes in the work and have a cherry in your resume.

  13. Franklin says:

    @John Peabody:

    2. Rich people stay rich by being as cheap as possible.

    In real life, I’ve found this to be not true, although you’ll certainly find rich people who thinks it’s true. They really think that saving a couple hundred bucks a year by giving small tips is why they are rich.

  14. Ben says:

    Fair Labor Standards Act says:

    1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment.

    2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.

    3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.

    4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.

    5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.

    6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

    Items 1-4 seem to be violated here utterly. So how is this legal again? Employers who use unpaid interns as slave labor make me want to vomit.

  15. superdestroyer says:

    Washington Monthly had a story about how many students and recent college graduates are getting stuck in being permanent interns. http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/the-age-of-the-permanent-intern/

    Of course, only the children of the affluent can afford to live in DC, NYC, SF, etc for years while working in low paid jobs. A few of them will break through and many of them will never make it.

  16. john personna says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    What a completely strange question. Do you think a 4% tariff would change patterns of trade at all? Of course not, it would just broaden the US tax base slightly.

    Hell, if we made a uniform 8% tariff it would not change much. And offshore manufacturers would still pay much less tax than domestic producers.

    (We charge domestic producers are huge depth of tax, local, state and federal. When we reduced tariffs we shifted the burden into them. That’s just math.)

  17. john personna says:

    Ah, definitely related to what I just said, above:

    Globalisation isn’t just about profits. It’s about taxes too

    Big corporates are gaming one nation’s taxpayers against another’s: we need a global deal to make them pay their way

    And related to that:

    Do falling tax rates explain the rising incomes of the top 1%?

  18. CSK says:

    @superdestroyer:

    You raise a good point. A lot of summer internships at prestige venues are unpaid, and thus open only to students who don’t have to get jobs in order to help finance their educations. Once when I was teaching a literary journalism course at a university, I mentioned internships at The Atlantic and a few other similar places. A bunch of sad little faces looked back at me and said, “But we have to work.” So they never get the benefit of the prestige and the connections that richer kids come by because those affluent ones don’t have to spend the summer flipping burgers or painting houses.