#6 LeBron James
Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:29 PM
Miami Heat star Lebron James posted his love for the Cowboys to his Twitter account on Wednesday night.
He posted a picture of him in a Jason Witten jersey and Tweeted, "Big time win for dallascowboys in a tough environment tonight! Great start to season. Game ball goes to Kevin Ogletree."
Posted 08 September 2012 - 07:50 PM
He should be a Browns fan.
Seriously, how does a dude from Akron Ohio become a Cowboys AND Yankees fan??? Bet he likes Real Madrid/Barcelona/ManU, the Detroit Redwings and Chinese divers as well....
Posted 09 September 2012 - 08:03 AM
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Posted 10 September 2012 - 06:20 PM
Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:09 PM
LeBron James and Kevin Durant are in the midst of "Hell Week 2" together.
For the second consecutive offseason the Oklahoma City Thunder star has joined the Miami Heat Most Valuable Player for a series of collaborative and grueling two-a-day workouts near James' hometown in Akron, Ohio.
Last year the two dubbed the process "hell week" and credited it with helping them start on a path to facing each other in last June's Finals.
"We pushed each other every day," James said about last year's workouts. "At the time, I envisioned us getting to (the Finals) against each other."
After their workout Tuesday, the two each took to Twitter to comment.
"Just finished a great workout with @KDTrey5. On court work, ran the hill and finished running the football field. #StriveforGreatness," read a message on James' Twitter account.
Durant's account said: "I got better today! That's all that matters!! Move em."
Durant and James bonded during the NBA lockout last summer, playing in charity exhibition games. Durant then asked James to work out together and the two created an intense training camp-style schedule with James' trainer, Mike Mancias.
They developed a friendly rivalry during the workouts and later organized a flag football game at the University of Akron, with the two recruiting teams to play against each other.
This summer, just a couple weeks after the Heat beat the Thunder in the Finals, James and Durant played on Team USA together for the first time and won a gold medal in London.
Good to see the 2 best players in the game BONDING and working on their games together in the offseason.
Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:22 AM
The defending champs retooled.
LeBron getting fitted for his ring. Suck it haters!
Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:49 PM
After training camp practices, James has been seen polishing his sky-hook in the post. Yes, LeBron James appears to be taking a page out of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's playbook.
"This year, I’ll be spending most of my time in the paint," James said, "Just trying to develop my game and continue to expand it."
This has been the evolution that many critics and fans alike have demanded and expected of him at this stage of his career. After all, James has the size of Karl Malone. Why not play like it?
James fully unlocked his post moves on the way to winning his first title. Chris Bosh's injury forced James to move closer to the block and embrace his role as a "point-4." According to Synergy Sports, he averaged 6.3 post plays per game last postseason compared to just 3.8 post plays per game in his first playoff run with Miami.
Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:23 AM
Buffet praises LeBron's business acumenLeBron James is earning high praise in high places.
Warren Buffett, 82, is the second-richest man in America, a person whose business acumen has been lauded the world over. Worth an estimated $46 billion, Buffett does not take his investments lightly, and he has taken an interest in 27-year-old James of the Miami Heat.
“You have to get to know him,” Buffett said, according to The Miami Herald. “LeBron’s not initially really talkative. He’s savvy. He’s smart about financial matters. It’s amazing to me the maturity he exhibits. I know that if I had been famous at that age, I would have had trouble keeping my feet on the ground.”
James has a net worth of $110 million and was the fourth highest-paid athlete in 2012, according to Forbes.com. Tiger Woods—who was listed at No.3—became the first athlete to earn $1 billion dollars, and James wants to be next. He certainly has people in his corner who know about accumulating wealth. Not many people can count Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and rap mogul Jay-Z as friends.
James didn’t attend college, famously making the leap from high school to the NBA without missing a beat. That has had no bearing on his ability to make savvy business moves—and it doesn’t hurt to turn to Buffett for advice every now and then.
At the root of James’ place as the most bankable NBA player is his personality and prodigious talent. His first season with the Miami Heat, which ended in an NBA Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks, resulted in a 17 percent increase in the Heat franchise’s value, pushing it to $425 million, according to Forbes. That number increased to $457 million after James’ second season in Miami, in which the team finished with an NBA championship win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. James also helped add $111 million to the net worth of team owner Micky Arison.
The best season of James’ NBA career did more than earn the NBA’s most recognizable player his first championship—it also added validation that only increases his earning power. James currently holds lucrative endorsement deals with Nike, Coca-Cola, State Farm, McDonald’s and Samsung, and the list is bound to grow. James’ most publicized venture was the deal with Fenway Sports Group that made him a minority owner in the British soccer team Liverpool.
But James made it known he will be selective in business moves, something he has already done with his pool of friends and advisors.
“I’ve got a lot going on right now,” James said. “I’m not looking for too many new opportunities—unless it’s a good one.”
Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:38 AM
A couple of years ago, I was asking various NBA people what LeBron James could do in the coming years to differentiate himself from Michael Jordan. If Jordan wasn't the greatest basketball player ever, then at the very least he was the best-marketed.
I wasn't asking for a political statement, but that's what I got. The best answer, not surprisingly, came from one of the smartest, most thoughtful athletes I've ever interviewed: Ray Allen. This was in early 2011, before James had taken the first important step toward rebuilding his image (i.e. winning a championship) and before Allen and James improbably became teammates on the Miami Heat.
This is what Allen said in January 2011, and it rings true now, the day after Election Day.
"Mike paved the way for all of us to open up the endorsement door," Allen said. "But the one thing that Mike never was is political. I think in today's era, the NBA player has an even greater podium if he chooses to use it. And with Barack Obama being the first black President, it's a great forum. I think that would separate him from anybody who's done this."
In other words, Jordan may have won six championships, but he was oh-for-scoring-political-points during his Hall of Fame career. Jordan -- as the often-related story goes -- chose commerce over politics in 1990 when he refused to endorse Democrat Harvey Gantt, a black U.S. Senate candidate in his home state of North Carolina.
"Republicans buy shoes, too," Jordan famously explained.
And that was Allen's point: Whereas Jordan avoided politics for fear of alienating potential customers, James could really separate himself by embracing his role as someone who could not only generate opinions but influence them.
"It's great to be a basketball player, but to transcend sports is a big responsibility," Allen said. "If he were able to pull that off -- if he wants to pull that off -- I think that would set him apart."
So when Obama became the first black candidate to win the White House in 2008, James was not hesitant in expressing his approval. Then, the day before Obama's re-election bid went to the voters, James took to Twitter -- a platform Jordan lacked during his playing days -- and tweeted, "The president got more work to do, make sure you get out and vote."
Then, another tweet urging his 6.5 million followers again to "get out and vote," with a hash tag inspired by Obama's campaign slogan: #forward2012.
From the sheer standpoint of getting involved and expressing his opinion, it was a risk -- one that even Jordan himself is now willing to take. A political agnostic no longer, Jordan organized a $3 million fundraising dinner for Obama in August, an event supported by NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Grant Hill, Paul Pierce and others. Vince Carter previously hosted a $30,000-per-person Obama fundraiser at his Florida home.
According to a donor list aggregated by HoopsHype.com, five current NBA players -- Anthony, Hill, Carter, Nolan Smith and free-agent Baron Davis -- donated to Obama's campaign. Jordan was an exception among NBA ownership types who donated to the President's successful re-election bid, putting up $5,000.
Even though commissioner David Stern recently poked fun at Obama's basketball skills -- "He’s not that good," said Stern, the noted Democrat who himself donated $5,000 to Obama -- the obstacles that kept Jordan from voicing political opinions during his playing career appear to have been lifted. But the golden rule of sports is to follow the money, and if you do that when it comes to NBA political donations, the league appears just as divided as the country is.
Members of NBA ownership groups donated far more to Romney's campaign than players to Obama's campaign. According to the campaign finance documents cited by HoopsHype, 21 members of NBA ownership groups donated $98,500 to Romney, compared to the five aforementioned players who delivered $21,000 to Obama.
Curiously, James' name was absent from the list of NBA donors to this presidential campaign. But he threw his considerable weight behind the president with his social media influence and something even more valuable: his vote, in the battleground state of Ohio.
"2 terms!!!!" James tweeted after Obama's re-election was called by the networks Tuesday night. "Ohio u guys are ... awesome."
An array of current and former NBA players chimed in, mostly in support of Obama's victory. James' friend, Chris Paul, tweeted, "OBAMA!!! #4MoreYears," while Kevin Durant wrote, "4 more! What a great night."
So what do we have in the NBA's tiny corner of the universe on this day after Election Day? An environment where it's no longer taboo for pro athletes to express their political opinions. Is this good or bad? Is this what we wanted?
I, for one, could do without it. While I understand the criticism Jordan incurred for sidestepping the landmines of politics in the '90s and the praise James has received for voicing his opinions, I'm not sure we'll enjoy a politicized sports landscape as much as those who criticized Jordan back in the day thought we would.
The electoral map, popular vote and demographics of Tuesday's outcome proved only that the country is more at odds than ever. During crucial times with massive problems to deal with, do we really want our athletes to take sides? Do we want sports, a bastion of recreation and means of escape from real-world problems, to become just as fraught with disunity as the rest of our lives?
I don't know the answer for sure. But I do know I'm more interested in how LeBron does Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets than I am in what policy agenda he believes will get the country back on track. Debate about that will be impossible to avoid without sports becoming a forum for it, too.
Is it so wrong to reserve those questions for the politicians and pundits? LeBron thinks so, even though Republicans buy Samsung Galaxy Note II's, too. That's his call, and part of the strange times in which we live.
Whether you agree, disagree, or just want to talk hoops and leave the politics out of it, on to the rest of the first 2012-13 regular season edition of Postups: