LeBron James: “Commitment Is The Key To Anything”
LeBron James’ stats are downright staggering. He has won three NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, an NBA scoring title, and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He has also been selected to 13 NBA All-Star teams, 13 All-NBA teams, and six All-Defensive teams, has made it to six consecutive NBA Finals, is the Cavaliers’ all-time leading scorer, and is the NBA career playoff scoring leader. He could even win MVP again, and become the fourth player ever to do so at his age or older (Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).
But even still, critics and fans alike hate on LeBron, not knowing all the work he puts in behind the scenes.
“From the day I started playing basketball, I never wanted to be a one-hit wonder,” James said. “I knew I was born with a gift, but I was like, I want to keep it going. I want to be as great as I can be and I always wanted to be the greatest player that everybody has ever seen.”
James was born to 16-year-old Gloria Marie James, who raised him on her own at that young age. When James was growing up, life was often a struggle for the family, as they moved from apartment to apartment in the seedier neighborhoods of Akron while Gloria struggled to find steady work. Realizing that her son would be better off in a more stable family environment, Gloria allowed him to move in with the family of Frank Walker, a local youth football coach, who introduced James to basketball when he was nine years old.
As a youth, James played Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball for the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars. The team enjoyed success on a local and national level, led by James and his friends Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, and Willie McGee. The players dubbed themselves the “Fab Four”, promising each other that they would attend high school together. In a move that stirred local controversy, they chose to attend St. Vincent–St. Mary High School, a predominately white private Catholic school.
From there LeBron made move after move, from signing a seven-year, $93 million deal with Nike right out of high school to creating controversy with his “Decision” special broadcast from the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, Connecticut, the show raised $2.5 million for the charity.
“Commitment is the key to anything,” James said.
It’s that same committment he has on the court that he has off the court as well in his business ventures.
– James signed a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike worth more than $1 billion — a move that was so big it is more like the merger of two corporations — becoming the first athlete in the company’s 44-year history to do so.
– James decided not to renew his multi-million dollar endorsement deal with McDonald’s and will instead become a spokesman for Blaze Pizza, a company where he was a founding investor.
– His new media venture got $16 million from Warner Bros.
– He’s an executive producer for the hit STARZ network show, Survivor’s Remorse.
– He teamed up with Octavia Spencer to bring to life Madam C.J. Walker’s story to the big screen.
– His Lebron James Family Foundation “I Promise” program provides a guaranteed four-year scholarship to the school for students who qualify. The scholarship covers tuition and the university’s general service fee — currently $9,500 per year. James told ESPN he plans to provide this for 1,100 kids, which would cost his foundation a total of $41.8 million at the school’s current rates.
– James’ is opening up a school. The Akron school board approved plans for a new “I Promise school” in coordination with…