LEBRON JAMES Gets HIS VERY OWN ISSUE Of SLAM MAG!!!
32-year-old AKRON, OH native 3-Time NBA Champion CLEVELAND CAVALIERS Power Forward #23 LEBRON RAYMONE JAMES has finally gotten his very own SPECIAL COLLECTOR'S ISSUE of SLAM Magazine!!! Here are some interview interludes:
SLAM: Most NBA players head into the offseason with a certain thing they want to add to their game over the summer, but at this point for you I’d guess it’s a little of everything. Is there anything specific, even mentally, you tried to add over the past few months?
LeBron: For me, mentally, I’m always trying to learn to be a better leader every single day, and be more constant, be more vocal at times, be more there for my teammates at times. When guys say, “You’re a great leader,” I say, “I’m still trying to figure out ways I can be better.” Then for my game, I worked on everything, man, from my shooting to my ballhandling to my post [moves] to my dribbling—everything. I always felt like if I can improve myself individually, then it’s gonna make our team that much better. So that’s what I’ve been trying to do.
SLAM: What kinds of activities do you do to improve your mental approach?
LeBron: I read The Godfather all the time. I’m back reading it again—I just started again last week. It just hits home for me. Even though they were Sicilians and they come from different walks of life, the notion of family and being together and having adversity and having people that you think are in your corner and they’re not—anybody can relate to that. That’s life.
SLAM: You said you were inspired this summer by your sons’ AAU tournaments. There’s been a lot of talk about if kids are learning the game properly in that scene. What did you think of it?
LeBron: There’s some bad basketball, there’s some good basketball. I think it’s all predicated on the coaches and the way they’re teaching those kids. The great thing about it is the coaches that we have, they teach our kids the right way. Number one, you’ve gotta play together. Number two, you’ve gotta know the fundamentals of the game. How to make a left-hand lay-up on the left-hand side, whether to throw a chest pass or a bounce pass, knowing when to take a charge or go for a block, or knowing not to settle for a jump shot or [shoot it]—there’s certain things and intricate parts of the game that we’re teaching our kids that are more than just getting the ball, dribbling down the court and shooting. That’s such a minor detail of the game and there are so many more levels to it. I saw some bad basketball this summer, but I’m in a position where I can watch my son be a part of a program that’s trying to do it the right way.
SLAM: The way information spreads these days leads to a ton of noise around basically every single thing you do. What do you do to block that out and just focus on the things that matter?
LeBron: I really don’t get involved in it, man. If I send out a tweet, I don’t read comments. I don’t go in to look at how many—what is it, retweets, or likes, or whatever it’s called. If I send out an Instagram post, I don’t really check to see how many likes I get. When I send something out, it’s either from the passion of how I’m feeling or what I think needs to be said. I know it’s a lot of noise out there, but it’s all white noise to me. I don’t really get involved in it and I don’t really pay attention to it.
SLAM: What’s it like being able to say, “I’ve experienced a lot over the last 15 years and I have a ton of information to pass down to the next generation?”
LeBron: One thing about me is I’ve always had an open-door policy. For guys who wanna learn about the game, about business or things that’s going on off the court or how to handle certain things, I’ve always had an open-door policy. I believe I have a gift to give to the game, and it’s always been bigger than just me. If I can help the next generation know that their voice can better the inner city or the way they play the game can inspire a kid to want to be great, then I’ve done my job.
SLAM: You probably don’t have another 15 years left, but you’ve got a solid chapter or two remaining. What else are you hoping to accomplish?
LeBron: I’m still in championship mode, which I’ve been in for a long time. Those things can happen, and sometimes they can’t. The only thing that you can guarantee is that you give it your all, and hopefully at the end of the day you put yourself in a position where you can compete for a championship. For me, I want to maximize my potential. Every single year, while I’m still loving the game at this level—and I still love the game, I still love to train, I still love to compete, I still love the League—then I have a responsibility to give everything to the game. And I have no signs of slowing down. I’m gonna keep it going for as long as I can.