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Kingdom Come - The Leadership Of LeBron James

LeBron James has always understood “the moment,” both on and off the court. As arguably the most dissected athlete in history, James’ basket...

LeBron James has always understood “the moment,” both on and off the court. As arguably the most dissected athlete in history, James’ basketball-altering letter in Sports Illustrated announcing his return to Cleveland has proven to be The King’s most daunting and admirable leadership task to date. 

“I feel my calling here goes above basketball,” the four-time MVP confided to S.I.’s Lee Jenkins in 2014. “I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously.”

James returned to a franchise and city that struggled to walk, let alone crawl, during his four-year South Beach sabbatical. Now, the team is arguably the hottest ticket in the NBA outside of the Golden State Warriors. His teammates hang on his every word, knowing the value of having perhaps the league's best player as their leader. More notably, the city is thriving again because LeBron James provides hope and security. He’s Cleveland’s most beloved public figure, bringing with him an obsessive dedication to bringing home the title it desperately covets –– a badge of honor absent since the glory days of Jim Brown.
Kingdom Come - The Leadership Of LeBron James
Motioning his teammates where to run, shoot and defend is only the tip of his iceberg of responsibilities. While Stephen Curry has catapulted to the status of the NBA’s most popular player, LeBron remains the game’s most influential, business-savvy and far-reaching voice. He and Nike agreed to terms on a lifetime contract. He’s partnered with the University of Akron to send over 1,100 kids to college –– a pledge totaling nearly $42 million. He sends personal, heartfelt letters to fans battling terminal diseases. And, he’s teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama to promote higher education. LeBron James’ entire existence revolves around leadership. He knows no other way to operate.

LeBron embraces the superhero duality his talent and stature invoke –– Robin Hood away from the hardwood, the Incredible Hulk on it. He also embraces the importance of this season and what it means for not only his career, but for Cleveland as a whole. Leaders recognize time as the unbeatable opponent. Leadership, like life, is temporary. LeBron’s grasp of it has overtaken an entire franchise to change the way it thinks, acts and performs. His time is now. “Chosen 1” is tatted on his back for a reason. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, but some people were born to wear it.

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