As Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel embarked on a series of adventures in his home state of Texas this past weekend, he was careful to balance his business relationship with LeBron James and his new allegiance to Cleveland.
Manziel partied in Austin, Texas, for a couple of days and then attended Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday night between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs. After the Heat wrapped up a 98-96 win, Manziel posted a photo on Instagram of James shooting a free throw in the AT&T Center and wrote “King.”
Cleveland sports fans usually don’t take kindly to athletes from their favorite teams rooting for James, but Manziel provided a twist. He wore a blue and orange Cavs hat to the game, thus showing his loyalty to James and Cleveland at the same time.
The business connection and friendship between Manziel and James is well documented. Spurs fans know about it and booed Manziel when he was shown on the scoreboard.
In January, Manziel signed with LRMR Management, the marketing firm run by James' business partner, longtime friend and fellow Akron native Maverick Carter. Since the Browns drafted Manziel 22nd overall on May 8, James has been photographed wearing a Manziel jersey and one of Nike's new “Money Manziel” T-shirts.
And just for fun, Manziel also showed loyalty to an inflatable swan over the weekend.
In a TMZ.com video, Manziel can be seen frolicking in a rooftop pool with a woman and the now-famous swan while wearing the aforementioned Cavs hat Sunday at a lounge and sports bar called Rio Austin. Apparently, Manziel grabbed a big bottle of alcohol and took the swan for a previous spin at Rio on Friday night, and the photograph from that wildlife encounter went viral.
So now Johnny Football, otherwise known as Johnny Baseball because the San Diego Padres picked him in the 28th round of the MLB Draft on Saturday, is eligible for yet another nickname. Perhaps Johnny Swanziel or Swanny Manziel would be fitting. Then again, fans of NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation might vote for Jon Swanson.