Even though he is in the late stage of his career, LeBron James is still one of the best players in the NBA when healthy. Ever since he entered the NBA in 2003 as an 18-year-old prodigy, the media followed his every move. Still, it was really after he joined the Miami Heat back in 2010 that he started to become a household name on almost every TV station and social media outlet. A lot of the attention LeBron receives from the media varies from positive to negative, and his name is often used to create stories that will get people fired up for no reason, just because his name is mentioned in them.
Another superstar that is almost in the same category as LeBron, Kevin Durant, talked about how the media treated LeBron in one of his interviews a few years ago. Durant shared some interesting points on why that pressure is incredibly hard for any athlete, even LeBron, who pretty much grew up being in the spotlight almost every single day. Unlike most athletes, LeBron kept a clean track record without any scandals related to his private life, and his accomplishments both on and off the basketball court are astonishing.
Well, anything that LeBron does, you guys talk about like it's breaking news, so he can't do anything. He has to play every game, he has to average close to a triple-double. He has to be a perfect person cause you will say everything about him.
Kevin Durant, via HoopJab
Durant also dived into the importance of LeBron finding himself after playing in Miami under Erik Spoelstra and his system. Durant even goes that far that during that time with the Heat, he actually learned how to be a true professional while maximizing his efficiency that would enable team success. When you play for a great team managed by none other than Pat Riley, you learn quite a lot about the game and life itself.
I think those four years LeBron spent in Miami were different than those years he is playing now, those minutes he is playing now. They were easier because they had such a great team, and I think coach Spoelstra was definitely underrated; he is one of the best coaches in the league. LeBron played off the ball a lot in Miami, a lot. He was playing off the ball, catching back door loobs; he was running in the post. They were running a lot of fast breaks; he was catching and shooting threes sometimes. Spoelstra put him in some great positions, and that helped him in the sense of keeping his body intact, and he is doing a great job at that anyways.
Kevin Durant, via HoopJab
Whatever LeBron does still is in the spotlight, and every single move he makes when it comes to basketball is analyzed through a microscopic lens. He is the most influential NBA player, and becoming a millionaire just a few weeks ago is proof of the legacy he built in the last 18 years. Even after his career is over, the media will follow his every move because he is already showcasing incredible intelligence in creating business ventures and putting kids through school through his education programs. LeBron wants to be more than an athlete, and he's on his way to becoming just that after his NBA career is over.