Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James didn’t become a basketball superstar just by size and strength alone. He had to put in the work, possess a true love of the game, and remain focused through it all.
James discussed all that and more in an extensive and exclusive interview with SLAM magazine.
“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,” he told SLAM. “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.”
James went on to talk about his love of The Godfather, how he reads it all the time and how he’s been reading it yet again. And bad news for Twitter and Instagram haters — James said he posts what he posts and never checks to see how many “likes” or retweets it gets, and absolutely never reads the comments.
Along with all that, James said his priority is still basketball and still training for it.
“It’s not even for work no more, it’s just a lifestyle,” he said. “I feel great when I get a workout in, and I don’t feel so great when I don’t. Even with my whirlwind of a schedule this summer, being in Vegas or Charlotte for [my sons’] basketball tournaments, or being in Asia or being in the Philippines for my Nike tour or being in New York for Fashion Week, I always figure out a way to get in the gym and improve my body, improve my mind and improve my game. It’s just a lifestyle.”
LeBron and the Cavs got off to a horrid start (5-7 entering Saturday’s game at Dallas), but he didn’t reach seven straight Finals by panicking. His mission, now and forever, remains the same.
“I’m still in championship mode, which I’ve been in for a long time,” he said. “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.”