If you could identify the pinnacle of LeBron James’ career so far, what would you point to?
His first championship, the other two, some of his historic individual games or some All-Star festivities come to mind. In a recent interview with Mallory Chin of hypebeast.com, James revealed what he still believes was the most memorable moment of his hoops career so far.
“I think my career high is just walking across the stage as an 18-year-old kid from Akron, Ohio, shaking David Stern’s hand for the first time on the stage, and being drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers,” James said.
He continued, “That’s my high because it was a dream of mine. At times it felt like it couldn’t come true, at times I only visioned it becoming true. I guess as you put your mind to things and you think about things, they become true and that was the defining moment for myself knowing that I belonged, that my dream had came true for an 18-year-old kid coming out of Akron, Ohio to be in New York City shaking the commissioner’s hand knowing I was a part of the NBA.”
That moment was when James knew he made it. Due to the struggles he had earlier in his life before he reached fame in high school, all of the other accolades since then don’t compare to that initial moment.
“Well some of the difficulties that I’ve faced in life were just being part of a single parent household with no siblings and no forms of means in terms of being financially stable. My mother being very young, being a teenager when she had me, knew the struggle. What we say in America ‘the struggle is real,’ I actually lived that. To being able to overcome that and to watch my mom just overcome that and be so powerful and persevere through all that, that’s everything,” he said.
To take that a step further, James believes that he’s able to connect with underprivileged youth because he himself experienced tough times.
“Well I think at the end of the day I was one of those kids. Especially the underprivileged kids, the kids that walked the streets, that didn’t have a lot growing up and was just looking for a way out and used sport to kind of get their mind away from whatever was going on in their situation, so I can relate,” LeBron noted.
He continued, “I’m not that far removed from actually being the kid that walked the streets of my hometown. People were basically saying ‘you will be a statistic of failure’ and I used that as motivation, not only for myself but for my friends to better myself and to better our situations. So I know what they are going through; I’m here to help them.”
Based on the example that he sets on and off the court, James continues to prove why he’s the face of the NBA and the sport of basketball in general. While Russell Westbrook, James Harden and others are putting up insane numbers, LeBron has continued to perform up to his sky-high standards on the court and also has maintained his status as a role model off the court as well. As a result, he's one of the most powerful athletes in the world.