Warren Buffett, LeBron James just 'a phone call away'
Future owner of Local 10, NBA superstar share financial, basketball advice
OMAHA, Neb. – It's not just Warren Buffett's investment prowess but his down-to-earth sensibilities that attracts upwards of 40,000 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders to the company's annual meeting in Omaha.
Part party, part pilgrimage, they travel from as far away as China to hear from the man who can move markets.
He's a man who, according to Forbes, has a net worth of more than $60 billion and yet still dines at Gorat's, a quaint Omaha restaurant once owned by a childhood friend.
Current owner Gene Dunn said while Buffett still enjoys a good T-bone, he really likes their meatloaf.
In Omaha, Local 10 spotted Buffett driving his own car.
"It's a Cadillac," he told Local 10's Christina Vazquez. "I bought it about six or seven years ago."
He was driving his Cadillac into the garage of the same Omaha home he bought in 1958 for just over $30,000.
"It's been 56 years and I've had 56 years of pleasure out of it," Buffett said.
This year, Buffett started his morning at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting with a Vanilla Orange Bar from Dairy Queen.
Vazquez asked if this was his breakfast, to which he replied with a smile, "It is sustenance."
He also said, "I'm happy. I'm happy to be part of channel 10."
You read that right. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway recently announced its intention to buy the "One and Only" Local 10.
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"He did, huh?" Miami Heat's LeBron James said. "Just buying things up."
The news came as a surprise to James during practice last week, but he had a surprise reveal of his own.
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"I have a great relationship with him," James said. "He's a phone call away."
What did he mean by a phone call away? You're telling me one of the greatest investors of his generation is chatting away with NBA superstar "King James?"
Well, we do know Buffett loves basketball. Remember his billion-dollar bracket challenge? It turned out to be a slam dunk for the savvy investor. ABC News quipped that you are more likely to get struck by a meteor than pick a perfect March Madness bracket.
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway also owns Spalding, the maker of NBA's official game balls.
But wait until you hear how tight the relationship is between this unlikely pair.
Here's a transcript from part of that interview:
Vazquez: I can't let you go without asking you about LeBron James. We caught up with him at practice last week and he tells us apparently you guys are B.F.F., you guys are good friends.
Buffett: (laughs) Yeah, we went one-on-one. Ask him how he came out.
"It is awesome to have someone like that, with that type of influence and that type of stature, to talk to anytime you want," James told Local 10's Clay Ferraro. "I had an opportunity to spend a weekend with him in Omaha in his hometown and just be around him every day and to see where he's come over the years. I think it's awesome. Every time I see him on television or see an article, I read it and he's great."
"I get financial advice from him. He gets basketball advice from me," Buffett said with a chuckle. "He's a terrific guy. He's very smart, incidentally, too. That was the first thing I was impressed with him when I first met him many years ago. For a young guy, he is very smart."
With so much to love about South Florida, when does Buffett plan to visit Miami and perhaps even Local 10's broadcast studios?
"We still have to get it cleared," Buffett said. "You know, it takes the FCC to say yes, but that'll probably be four months or something like that. You'll see me. You'll get sick of me."
Then he took up Vazquez's offer of a café con leche, telling her, "You name the place, I'll pick up the check."
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