LeBron James unbothered by basketball legacy as Lakers close in on NBA title
- LeBron James is closing in on a fourth NBA title
- The Los Angeles Lakers go into the best-of-seven series with a 3-1 advantage over Miami Heat
- James is more concerned about his legacy as a role model and a social justice campaigner
Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James is not thinking about his basketball legacy ahead of a potentially title-winning game five in the NBA Finals series against Miami Heat on Friday (local time).
James is closing in on a fourth NBA title as the Lakers go into the fifth game of the best-of-seven series in Orlando with a 3-1 advantage against Heat.
However, 35-year-old James in unbothered by where his status among the greatest basketball players in history will be after securing a fourth championship ring.
“I don't really think about it too much,” AFP quoted James as saying Thursday. “The story will be told how it's supposed to be told and be written how it's supposed to be written. But I don't live my life thinking about legacy.”
The former Heat star said he was more concerned about his legacy as a role model and a social justice campaigner. “What I do off the floor is what means more to me than what I do on the floor.”
James recently joined an elite group of US athletes by appearing on the box of the Wheaties breakfast cereal. Students from James’ ‘I Promise’ school, which he started in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, also made an appearance alongside him, something he described as “one of the best moments” of his life.
“Seeing my mom unveil the box back in my hometown of Akron, Ohio, yesterday was some of the best news, videos and pictures that I've ever seen, that I could ever get.”
“The game of basketball will pass me by. There will be a new group of young kids and vets and rookies throughout the course of this game. So I can't worry about that as far as on the floor.”
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“How I move, how I walk, what I preach, what I talk about, how I inspire the next generation is what matters to me the most. And if you appreciate my game, then cool. If you didn't, then that's cool, too,” James said.
A long-time advocate of social justice, James has been one of the most prominent figures in the protests against police brutality that erupted across the US and the world following the death of George Floyd in May.
Since the restart following the coronavirus-enforced break in the COVID bubble in Orlando, the NBA has also endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement, encouraging players to take a stand and display their activism throughout the closing months of the season.
James, who is also a key figure in a group that aims at boosting voter turnout for the upcoming US Presidential election, said he hoped the NBA players’ activism will continue even after the end of the season.
“Where do we go from here? We don't stop,” James said. “Obviously, when the season ends in less than a week, everyone disperses and goes back.”
“But I hope people continue to use their platform. Use their individual social media platforms, if they're doing it that way, or if you are an individual that goes into your community and does it that way.”
“Being here and having the opportunity to talk about these issues and continuing to understand that this world is not just about basketball, even though we live in a small piece of the game of basketball.”
“There are so many bigger things and so many greater things going on. If you can make an impact or you can make a change or you can have a vision, it just helps out so much not only in your community but all over the world.”