LeBron James On What He Wants His Legacy To Be
In the middle of the NBA Finals, LeBron James was asked how this year has affected his legacy.
He didn't talk about basketball.
Instead James talked about one of his greatest accomplishments off the court. Last week, students from the I Promise School he founded in 2018 in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, were featured on the back of a Wheaties cereal box.
"What I do off the floor is what means more to me than what I do on the floor," James said Oct. 8. "Seeing my kids on the back of a Wheaties box yesterday was one of the best moments of my 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."
Three days later, James went on to win his fourth NBA championship with three different franchises.
It was the Lakers' first title in 10 years and their record-tying 17th championship.
James, the runner-up for the MVP award, averaged 25.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and a league-leading 10.2 assists during the regular season. Then in the playoffs, he averaged 27.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.8 assists, winning his fourth Finals MVP award.
But James said all of those achievements are secondary.
"The game of basketball will pass me by," James said Oct. 8. "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. 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. That's what it boils down to."
Lakers coach Frank Vogel, however, didn't shy away from talking about James' on-court legacy.
After the Lakers' series clinching win over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, Vogel said where he thinks James ranks.
"He's the greatest player the basketball universe has ever seen," Vogel said. "And if you think you know, you don't know, okay? Until you're around him every day, you're coaching him, you're seeing his mind, you're seeing his adjustments, seeing the way he leads the group. You think you know; you don't know. It's just been a remarkable experience coaching him and seeing him take this group that was not in the playoffs last year, the roster was put together, you know, overnight, and just taking a group and leading us to the promised land, so they say. He was terrific the entire season leading us, and I can't say enough about him."