LeBron James is considered by many as the “face of the NBA” for so many reasons, including his skills and feats on the court. He is one of those rare National Basketball Association (NBA) players whose opinions have significantly influenced key league decisions. For instance, his request for increasing the duration of the All-Star break in 2014 was accepted by the commission, Adam Silver. There is hardly any other athlete who has been as loved and hated, watched, studied and idolized as much as him in the past two decades.
King James Dominates in Basketball
LeBron has been considered a perimeter-oriented player. This always put the defense in a difficult situation. It were only the smaller perimeter players who are fast enough to stay with him but he also has the skills to put them out of their position. The bigger defenders are always concerned about guarding him because they typically don’t have the foot speed to stay with him on drives. That’s why they mostly play off of James, giving him an advantageous view of the floor.
The NBA has more recently transformed into a league of highly athletic, small forward players who can take up other positions around the court in an instant. Positions are no longer as important. And LeBron is perhaps the best example of this in the NBA. At a time when coaches want to put out their best 5-man lineups, he can play all 5 traditional positions and brings a level of versatility that can send even the most seasoned opposition off track.
LeBron’s Commendable Charity Efforts
James is not just a great player, he is also a great philanthropist. He actively supports organizations like the Children’s Defense Fund, ONEXONE and Boys & Girls Club of America. In fact, LeBron also runs his own charity foundation which is named as the LeBron James Family Foundation. This Akron based foundation holds an annual bike-a-thon for raising funds for different causes. James went a step further with his charitable efforts by entering into a partnership with the University of Akron in 2015 to offer scholarships for 2,300 students. See LeBron’s official website for more info on his activities.
LeBron as a Movie Star
LeBron’s off-court feats also include being a movie star. He played himself in the 2015 film Trainwreck. The Judd Apatow film received majority positive reviews with an approval rating of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a big feat in itself. This American romantic comedy also stared Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton, Colin Quinn, Ezra Miller, John Cena, Ezra Miller, Vanessa Bayer and Brie Larson.
LeBron’s role in Trainwreck received considerable praise. The New Yorker’s review of Trainwreck included this headline, “The Greatest Movie Performance by an Active Professional Basketball Player.”
James has also appeared in many other roles on the small screen. He also appeared in a cameo role in the HBO series Entourage. In 2007 he hosted the ESPY Awards along with comedian Jimmy Kimmel. He also hosted in the 33rd season of Saturday Night Live.
James has a digital video company known as Uninterrupted. It raised almost $16 million from Turner Sorts and Warner Bros. Entertainment for expanding its efforts to promote athlete-created content. The company is hosted on Bleacher Report. It is used by many other athletes such as Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots and Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks.
LeBron Makes His Teammates Better
LeBron has built a reputation for helping make his teammates better players. He is a more passing-oriented player than many other stars. It is generally believed that there is great opportunity in being a James teammate. Many of his teammates note that playing with him is a big advantage, but it is not always easy.
What makes him unique is that unlike many other star NBA players from the past and present, he doesn’t attempt to be the center of all action. He uses his advanced athletic abilities to ensure that his teammates also get to play an important role in all games. That is why he is valued by his teammates for forging lasting bonds and creating memories.
LeBron returns to Cleveland in Hopes of a Championship
LeBron James has always wanted to end his career at Cleveland. After his successful stint at Miami, he would say that he could never think of going anywhere else except Cleveland. Returning to his hometown was something that made him feel happier than anything else. When left his hometown team for Miami, he was on a mission to win championships. During his tenure with Miami, the Heat went on to win two titles with LeBron leading the way.
LeBron says that his return to Cleveland was to give his hometown fans that same feeling that a championship team can bring to a town. Miami had already known that feeling so many times. Cleveland, for a town with a professional baseball, basketball and football team, have gone the longest time without a championship team.
LeBron James: A Special Player
James is one of the few players to have been elected as the Vice President of the National Basketball Players Association. He also owns a production company called SpringHill Entertainment along with Maverick Carter. Some of the works of this company include More than a Game (2009) which is a Lions Gate documentary, the Disney XD documentaries named Becoming, The LeBrons and the sitcom Survivor’s Remorse. Another unscripted series, hosted by James, is planned for CNBC that will finance four upcoming entrepreneurs from Northern Ohio if they’re selected based on their initiatives to revitalize Cleveland neighborhoods.
LeBron Takes a Stand on Issues
LeBron James has also been known to take a stand on many issues. According to him, he has always felt an obligation to bring change using his status as a star player and influential figure. Some of these issues included the War in Darfur, racist comments by Donald Sterling, the Trayvon Martin case, Eric Garner’s death, and the verdict in the case of Michael Brown. In 2008, LeBron made a donation to a committee for electing Barack Obama. He went further and gathered over 20,000 people for Barack Obama’s American Stories, American Solutions TV ad at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Whereas other players, perhaps upon advice of image consultants, have kept quiet on important issues of the day, LeBron hasn’t been afraid to speak up. When a person of LeBron’s star power speaks up, it can make a difference.
LeBron James is one of the most influential and accomplished NBA players in the last few decades. While LeBron may always be best noted for his accomplishments on the court – of which there are many – there are many facets to LeBron’s contributions.