King James. Arguably the greatest basketball player in the game today and possibly of all time. After this year’s NBA finals, I’m starting to think the latter title might be a fitting title.
Since his high school days at St. Vincent St. Mary’s, Lebron has been dubbed the, “Chosen One”. Touted as the greatest since Jordan, Lebron has always had big shoes to fill. Shoes, shoe contracts, endorsement deals, the works. And remarkably, he’s lived up to the hype.
Now, I’m sure there are plenty of haters out there that will argue the opposite until their blue in the face. I mean, he is 6’8″, 250 with a 40″+ vertical leap. I’ll say it, he’s gifted. Few people in the world posses the athletic ability that Lebron has. Clearly, that’s what makes him great… come on.
Ask those that are closest to James and they will all attribute his success to his work ethic and passion for the game. Continuing the Michael Jordan comparison, James is also known to stick around long after practice ends working on his game. While his teammates are showering and getting treatment after practice, Lebron is putting up jump shots, working on his post game, and refining his footwork to near perfection.
Even while on the road, James continually is developing his skills and game. His personal shooting coach, Chris Jent, travels with Lebron and is available whenever the King needs to work on his shot. Jent is responsible for finding suitable shooting gyms and putting Lebron through shooting drills.
“The amount of time he has put into being a better shooter is unreal,” Jent said. “You can’t imagine how hard he works at this. During the summer, it’s just us alone in the gym with no other bull.”
From road workouts of 400+ shots in between filming commercials and endorsements to HELL WEEK, a brutal week of workouts hosted by James at his home and attended by teammates and other basketball stars, the time Lebron puts in ranks with the Elite of the Elite.
What’s funny is that in the past, James work ethic has been questioned. A 2010, Bleacher Report article comparing Kobe and Lebron, ref bashes Lebron for being “handed” the title “Greatest Player in the World”. BR even went as far as to call Lebron the “golden boy of the NBA”.
Fast forward to today and i think you’d be hard pressed to find someone that questions the King. And when you ask Lebron about his work ethic what do you think he contributed his success to? Hard work.
“You have to put in the work if you expect to improve your game. That’s always been my mindset. I can’t cheat the game. You only have so long to play this game at a high level and I want to do my part to make sure I’m still progressing.”
– Lebron James
To me, that’s what makes Lebron great. Not his incredible athleticism or his highlight reels, but his passion and drive to truly master his craft.
No matter if your goal is to be the world’s best basketball player or world’s best dog walker, it requires something more than average to get there. To achieve greatness you must put forth great effort.
In the King’s words,
“Look, it’s got to be in you. The one thing about me, if you have to force someone to put in the work, then they’re not supposed to be there.”
– King James
Is it in you?