LeBron James is remarkable; that’s not an outlandish or provocative statement, obviously, but it’s worth exploring some more. He’s remarkable with respect to his basketball talents and work ethic no doubt. To hammer that latter point home, consider this point made by Bill Simmons in his article covering the NBA Finals
“He has played an unfathomable amount of minutes since Christmas of 2011 — 138 of 148 regular-season games, 44 playoff games (and counting), plus everything in the 2012 Olympics to boot — and it’s hard to remember another NBA team asking more from its best player. He’s the Heat’s leading scorer, rebounder and assist guy, their main creator, their best playmaker and their best defender. He plays four positions for them. He’s averaged a whopping 42 minutes per game these last two postseasons — just an unconscionable workload considering everything they ask from him, and if you don’t think we’re seeing the side effects lately, you’re crazy.”
That’s remarkable. However, what I find more remarkable in some respects is how James, throughout all the pressure, the lime light since he was fourteen and the constant comparisons to Michael Jordan; he’s stayed by all accounts, a nice person. That seems like a weird thing to give approbation for, but in sports where egos are massive; the best sometimes tend to be dicks. Going back to the comparison, pretty much considered the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan, is for all intents and purposes, acknowledged as a bit of an asshole, which perhaps can be excused on the court in the name of competitiveness, passion and winning, but off the court? It leaves a lot to be desired.
So, it’s worth noting when someone that’s considered the greatest at playing basketball in the world and has had an unfathomable amount of pressure on his broad shoulders since he was considerably young, to still remain the same nice guy. For a contrast, Hollywood is abundant with examples of famous child stars growing up in the lime light that come out on the other side not so pretty.
Sure, some will mention “The Decision” as an example of James being an asshole or an unlikable guy. I disagree. The pompous nature of it perhaps was unnecessary, but that doesn’t color the entire character of a man. And let’s not forget, in the end, the whole thing raised roughly $6.0 million for charity, so…
Check this press conference video with James out:
That’s a cool little story from James; he clearly loves the game and as he said, “that’s all that matters.”