Love him or hate him, LeBron James is a winner. He is an athlete, a success story, an Ohio native, and he is tall. At 6’8″, LeBron James towers over some of the competition. But win or lose, he does not let life or basketball get him down. Throughout his career, LeBron has continuously strived for greatness, starting as the overall first pick of the 2003 NBA draft, and then setting an NBA record in his first game as a Cavalier, and going on to become Rookie of the Year that same season.
LeBron has been criticized by the media for having poor defense as a rookie, for his play in pressure situations, the way he handled his free agent period, for his decision to join the Miami Heat, and more. He has also been ranked by Forbes as one of the world’s most influential athletes.
LeBron James is not just an athlete, a ridiculously tall, good looking, powerful, influential guy, he is also an avid philanthropist. In addition to supporting the Boys & Girls Club, Children’s Defense Fund, and ONEXONE, he established his own organization: the LeBron James Family Foundation, and also provides scholarships to students through the University of Akron.
Not raised with a silver spoon, LeBron James was born to a 16-year-old single mother, and his childhood was a struggle in Akron, OH. At 9 years old, he moved in with a youth football coach and was introduced to the game of basketball. Now, as an almost-31-year-old, LeBron is married with kids of his own: Bronny, Bryce, and Zhuri, and he gets to introduce his kids to basketball and share his own values.
Never one to allow a stereotype to label him, LeBron is far from a dumb jock. Let’s see what he has to say.
1. “Maybe my pain was motivation.”
I love this quote. For some, pain will bring them down and allow them to become bitter and world-weary. For others, they will use their pain, their experiences, and their pasts to push them forward to a better and brighter future, using it as motivation to be great.
2. “Ask me to steal, block out, sacrifice, lead, dominate. Anything. But it’s not what you ask of me, it’s what I ask of myself.”
LeBron has a great quote here. Anyone can ask anything of you, but what can you ask of yourself? How do you push yourself, how do you improve?
3. “I like criticism. It makes you strong.”
So true, LeBron, so true. And trust me, not being able to take real (and constructive) criticism is a true detriment to you and your career and future. Don’t get defensive, learn from it!
4. “You can’t be afraid to fail. It’s the only way you succeed. You’re not gonna succeed all the time and I know that.”
Failure happens. Life isn’t fair. You will not be the best or succeed at everything you do, it’s just not possible. Learn from the failure and move forward a better, stronger person. Learn from it and it will allow you to succeed (or fail less) next time. Success is built on failing first and building up again.
5. “I don’t need too much. Glamour and all that stuff don’t excite me. I am just glad I have the game of basketball in my life.”
It may be a game, but it’s not “just” a game.
6. “I hate letting my teammates down. I know I’m not going to make every shot. Sometimes I try to make the right play, and if it results in a loss, I feel awful. I don’t feel awful because I have to answer questions about it. I feel awful in that locker room because I could have done something more to help my teammates win.”
LeBron is awesome. He cares more about his team’s success as a whole than his own as a singular entity. This is the true meaning of a team player. Go Cavs!
7. ” I treated it like every day was my last day with a basketball.”
Life is short, play the game you love with every single bit of energy and vitality you have. Someday, there will come a day where you won’t be playing anymore.
8. “There is a lot of pressure put on me, but I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel if I play my game, it will take care of itself.”
It’s hard not to put pressure on yourself to always kick butt, always win, always be the best. LeBron knows there is a whole world of basketball fans putting pressure on his shoulders, and he is trying not to put even more on himself. I love his attitude.
Learning from LeBron James: criticism helps you get better, failure happens but you get back up again to succeed, and it’s all about the team.