LeBron James stood on a stage near one of the streets he walked as a troubled kid and looked out at thousands of faces. He felt connected to every one of them.
While his three-year-old daughter, Zhuri, played at his feet, James watched as his mother, Gloria, raised a flag in front of a school that is perhaps his greatest triumph.
His incredible life. Full circle.
Before leaving for Los Angeles, James gave his hometown quite a gift.
James, who ended his second stint with Cleveland earlier this month by signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, on Monday opened his I Promise School, a year-around learning center devoted to some of the city’s most challenged youngsters — ones just like him.
For James, who recalled missing 82 days of school as a fourth-grader while he and his mom “looked for stability,” the opening culminated years of planning by his family foundation.
“This means everything,” James said in an interview before the opening. “I think this is the greatest accomplishment for me because it’s not just me. A championship is for a team, that’s for an organization and a city, but these kids, this is for generation after generation after generation, and it’s for these kids, so it means everything.”
It was an emotional day for James, who also made his first comments since signing the US$154 million deal with the Lakers — a move still causing tremors across the NBA.
James recalled beating the odds of his youth when life was a daily struggle for him and his mom.
Nothing was easy as the pair constantly moved and it was only with the help of others that James found structure.
Now, he is giving kids with the same problems a path.
“There is no way I could have imagined this,” he said. “I remember our foundation having a bike-a-thon and I never thought a five-mile bike ride would turn into a school. This is something I’m at a loss of words for.”
The move to Los Angeles takes him thousands of kilometers from home, but as James reminded students, family and friends in the closing moments of his remarks, he will never be far away.
“No matter if I’m playing in Los Angles or not, Akron, Ohio, is always home for me,” he said.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
EXPENDITURE: Tokyo Games organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that ‘additional expenses are going to be quite massive’ to reschedule the Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July-to-August window next year for the postponed Tokyo Olympics and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday. John Coates, head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics, told the newspaper that the Games would have to be held between the tennis Grand Slams of Wimbledon, scheduled to end in mid-July, and the US Open, which starts in late August. “We want to more or less finalize the dates in four weeks’ time,” the newspaper quoted Coates as saying. Coates, who is also
PROUD, BUT BOWING OUT: The Dallas center missed all of 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, but Travis Frederick returned to be a standout again last season Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick on Monday stunningly announced his retirement. Frederick, who turned 29 on Wednesday last week, was a Pro Bowl selection in five of his six NFL seasons. Frederick revealed his retirement in a lengthy letter, beginning it by writing: “After much consideration, discussion, and reflection, I have decided to retire from football. This was not an easy decision.” Frederick cited his bout with autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre syndrome as a factor. He missed the 2018 season due to the illness in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system, but he returned to be a standout again last
When two Spanish soccer players took to the controls of FIFA 20 after the COVID-19 pandemic saw their La Liga match canceled, a stadium-sized virtual audience watched online. The huge digital crowd last week is part of a spectacular boom for the digital gaming industry, as record numbers flock to online servers for distraction, entertainment and friendship with the “real world” seemingly falling apart. Real Betis Balompie striker Borja Iglesias kicked the winning goal using his own digital likeness in the 6-5 battle against Sevilla, which was broadcast on popular video game streaming platform Twitch. It took place at the same time the