- National Teams
NBA superstar LeBron James needs no introducing. In London over the last few days, he paid a visit to the London School of Basketball on Sunday (13th November 2011) at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre where Hoopsfix was lucky enough to sit down with the man himself for a very quick 5 minutes to go 1 on 1 with him.
Hoopsfix (HF):So this is your second time in England?
LeBron James (LBJ):Third time.
HF: How have you found it so far?
LBJ: It’s been great, just got an opportunity to meet a lot of the kids from the London School of Basketball and I love to see the game of basketball continue to grow, not just in America but all parts of the world.
HF: How important is it for you to give back?
LBJ: It’s very important, it’s something I’ve always want to do and I’ve always said if I ever had the opportunity to do it, I was gonna do it. So to be here, to give back and just give my knowledge of the game to a lot of these kids that are up and coming and want to play the game of basketball is great.
HF: Recent you bought a minority stake in Liverpool FC and you were here and went to one of their games. Are you a big soccer fan? Do you have more plans to be involved with the team?
LBJ: I’m a big fan. It was a great experience to be a part of that game in Anfield Stadium, it was great, the fans were amazing and hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to go back and witness another game.
HF: Last time Kobe was over here with the London School of Basketball he was asked the question who would win in a 1 on 1 between you and him. What do you think?
LBJ: I’m a team basketball player, it’s not a 1 on 1 sport. But I’m not gonna not take myself against anybody, I always feel that no matter who I’m going against that I will come out victorious. But we won’t see it, nobody will ever see it, so y’all can stop asking me that question. (video!)
HF: You’ve had a lot of great highlights in your career, what is the best individual highlight for you?
LBJ: The best individual highlight for me is just being able to make it to the NBA. Knowing where I come from, and knowing the statistics about how many guys come into the league and how many don’t make it, to be blessed and have the opportunity to get drafted and be a part of the NBA, that’s the single greatest moment for myself.
HF: What about the best dunk of your career?
LBJ: Uhhh, I don’t even know. I’ve had so many dunks in my career, I don’t know if I could just single out one, but I’ve had some pretty good ones if I can remember!
HF: When the NBA has come over here before for pre-season games, there has been a lot of talk of the NBA expanding to Europe. Is that something you would you like to see, a franchise in Europe?
LBJ: I’d just like to continue to see the game grow. That’s what it’s about, of course, there’s some young ballers here in England, especially in London, so as the game continues to grow that’s what it’s all about.
HF: Ever since you’ve been drafted, there has been a massive amount of pressure, media coverage, there’s a lot of negativity sometimes. How do you deal with that?
LBJ: I just try to be myself. When I go out on the basketball court, I play for my teammates, I play for myself and I play for the fans, and that’s the only thing that matters to me.
HF: What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given to you?
LBJ: My high school coach always told me to use the game of basketball and don’t let it use us, use it as a vehicle to take us places in life and I never understood what he meant as a 12, 13 year old kid. But now as a 26 year old man, I understand exactly what he was talking about.
HF: Looking into the future, where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you want to be?
LBJ: In 10 years? I don’t know, I don’t think that far in advance, but hopefully I can continue to inspire people in the game of basketball, continue to inspire my friends and my family and my two sons on being great people. Being people that are liked, and for me individually, if I can do that I’ma be satisfied.
HF: In the nearer future, you recently committed to Team USA and the 2012 Olympics, is that something you are looking forward to?
LBJ: Absolutely. It was an unbelievable journey for us in ’08 at the Beijing Olympic Games and we’re looking forward to coming here, it’s not too far away, and trying to go after it again.
HF: Any predictions on how you’ll do?
LBJ: If we play as a team, work hard in practice, and we understand how important each game is, each minute, each quarter, each half is, then we give ourselves a good chance of winning it all.
HF: And finally what advice would you give to young British basketball players that want to be where you are today?
LBJ: Love the game. Work hard at it. Any opportunity you get to play the game, go for it. For me, as a kid, everytime I got an opportunity to play the game I was on the court. Me and my friends stayed on the court for hours and hours and hours, and we got better, we got better everyday. I think when you do that, the game will give back to you.
HF: Thanks very much!
The London School of Basketball is a network of grassroots basketball delivery across London with the objective to increase sustainable grassroots participation and positive playing opportunities. Find out more at http://www.londonschoolofbasketball.com, or check out their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LSB