LeBron James doesn’t really have anything left to accomplish on the basketball court.
Anything James does from here on out will be gravy, as the star forward already is rich in achievements and accolades. But despite his seemingly endless list of impressive feats, James apparently still is worried about his legacy.
In a recent column for ESPN, Brian Windhorst shed some light on James’ cognizance to how he’s viewed by others.
“On one hand, James doesn’t much care about how his path is perceived,” Windhorst writes. “After a tough first season in Miami, James posted in his locker a guiding quote from a Theodore Roosevelt speech in Paris in 1910. The ‘Man in the Arena’ passage refers to rising above critics. James often will write “Man in the Arena” on his shoes for games as another reminder to himself.
“On the other hand, James is sensitive to how he will be remembered. The reason he needs to constantly remind himself to ignore criticism is the same reason he watches playoff games on mute on his off nights. He doesn’t want to hear what he knows is going on: people picking at him.”
It could be argued that James is the most overly criticized and analyzed athlete in sports history — something that, of course, comes with the territory of being crowned “the next big thing” as a 16-year-old on the cusp of the social media age, no less. And as the great Reggie Jackson once said, “You don’t boo nobodies.”
Regardless of how the rest of James’ career pans out, he’ll go down as one of the greatest players to ever step on an NBA court. Not to mention, his impact on the game of basketball is outdone by his charitable efforts, which are second to none.
It’s nearly impossible for James to tune out all the noise, as he’s a leading topic of conversation in the sports world on a day-to-day basis. But as far as his legacy goes, he has nothing to worry about.
Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports