I have a confession: I liked LeBron James before it was cool to like LeBron James. I guess that’s not really a confession, especially considering that he just lead the Miami Heat to an NBA Championship. If I had written this post a month ago however, WordPress might not have even published it. With the Heat down two games to one to the Pacers in the conference semifinals, the haters were out in abundance. Then again when the heat were down 3-2 to the Celtics in the conference finals.
But then King James turned into King James. The run to the finals was a thing of beauty, with Lebron putting up one of those once-in-a-generation performances. It was fun to watch the best player of his generation actually become the best player of his generation. It was one of those moments that we will say 25 years from now, “remember when LeBron…” He silenced the haters, not by lashing out, but by dominating on the court.
Yet, despite all that, what I think I will remember most about this title run is that LeBron James read his way to a championship. That is not a typo. LeBron James took up reading, and claims that it helped him focus better. Reading? Yup. As in Katniss and Peeta? Yup. As in The Tipping Point, and Shogun? Yup and Yup. As Michael Wilbon says in this article that serves as the inspiration for this post, “Simply, LeBron James decided before the playoffs he would be best served if he stopped watching hour after hour of sports on television, and got off the Internet, and stopped tweeting, and stopped reading Twitter. So, LeBron figured, why not just read books to occupy his non-basketball time during the playoffs?”
And why not? Who would have thought that the greatest basketball player on the planet would help influence others to read? I was so inspired by Wilbon’s story that I opened up a new tab at Amazon.com and ordered three books. One of which was The Tipping Point, as recommended by LeBron himself. I can’t wait to get started.
What are you reading this summer?