Tag: LeBron James

LeBron James Donates $2.5 Million for Muhammad Ali Exhibit at National Museum of African American History & Culture

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James (DAVID LIAM KYLE VIA GETTY IMAGES)

 article via huffingtonpost.com

LeBron James is donating $2.5 million to support a Muhammad Ali exhibit at the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., the basketball star and the museum announced on Thursday.

The Cleveland Cavaliers forward said he was a longtime fan of Ali, one of the most beloved sports figures in history, who died on June 3 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s syndrome.  “Every professional athlete, regardless of race and gender, owes a huge debt of gratitude to Muhammad Ali,” James said in a statement. “His legacy deserves to be studied and revered by every generation.”

The “Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change” exhibit features items from the late boxer, including a training robe worn at Dundee’s Fifth Street Gym in Miami. While the exhibit details Ali’s sports journey, it also highlights his community activism, spirituality and politics.

“We are extremely grateful to LeBron James,” said Damion Thomas, curator of the museum’s Sports Gallery. “As the most socially active superstar in sports today, LeBron James is a testament to the influence of Muhammad Ali (who) embodied the racial and social tumult of his times, blurring lines between politics and sports, activism and entertainment.”

James’ business partner, Maverick Carter, is also contributing to the exhibit, which has been on display since the museum opened on Sept. 24.

The funds will also support the museum itself, which is located on the National Mall.

To read more, go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lebron-james-donates-25-million-muhammad-ali-exhibit_us_582dd99ae4b058ce7aa98273?

NBA Stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade Address Gun Violence, Racial Turmoil at ESPYs

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NBA basketball players Carmelo Anthony, from left, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James speak on stage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, in Los Angeles. (CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP)

article by Evan Grossman via nydailynews.com

No highlight, championship or individual accomplishment showcased during the 2016 ESPY Awards Wednesday night was more powerful than the show’s cold opening.

Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James teamed up for a moving call to action for other athletes to use their celebrity, influence and resources to make a difference in a divided America plagued by gun violence, injustice and racism.

Anthony turned to Instagram last week as the nation was torn by the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the retaliatory attack that led to the deaths of five Dallas police officers to urge others to inspire change. This week, he said he plans to use the Summer Olympics as another platform to spread his message, indicating he is not taking this lightly.

Reminiscent of Muhammad Ali’s black athlete summit from the summer of 1967, Melo started the show on a moving note when he was joined by fellow NBA stars Paul, Wade and James in a three-and-a-half-minute speech that, because of its social significance, timeliness and let’s face it, the need right now for more thoughtful and serious social leadership, may have eclipsed the legendary Jimmy V speech as ESPN’s finest moment.

Carmelo Anthony right to use Olympics as a platform for protest

Below is the transcript of their speech.

Carmelo Anthony:

071316116155, 21334631,
NBA basketball players LeBron James, from left, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade on stage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, in Los Angeles. (CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP)

Good evening. Tonight is a celebration of sports, celebrating our accomplishments and our victories. But, in this moment of celebration, we asked to start the show tonight this way, the four of us talking to our fellow athletes, with the country watching.

Because we cannot ignore the reality of the current state of America. The events of the past week have put a spotlight on the injustice, distrust and anger that plague so many of us.

Adam Silver praises Carmelo Anthony for ‘speaking from the heart’

The system is broken. The problems are not new. The violence is not new. And the racial divide definitely is not new.

But the urgency to create change is at an all-time high. Continue reading “NBA Stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade Address Gun Violence, Racial Turmoil at ESPYs”

Golden State Warriors Star Stephen Curry Voted NBA’s 1st Unanimous MVP

Stephen Curry becomes the 13th player in NBA history to win multiple MVP awards and the third point guard to do so, joining Magic Johnson and Steve Nash. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Stephen Curry becomes the 13th player in NBA history to win multiple MVP awards and the third point guard to do so, joining Magic Johnson and Steve Nash. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

article by Marc Stein via espn.go.com

PORTLAND, Ore. — Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry became the first unanimous NBA Most Valuable Player on Tuesday, winning the award for a second straight season.  Curry swept all 131 first-place votes, including 130 from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters and one from the Kia MVP fan vote. San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was second in the voting, followed by Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James.

‘Space Jam’ Sequel Starring LeBron James to be Directed by ‘Fast and Furious’ Helmer Justin Lin

LeBron James Space Jam 2
LeBron James (AP/CARLOS OSORIO)

article by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

“Fast and Furious” franchise director Justin Lin is in talks to direct “Space Jam 2,” starring LeBron James, for Warner Bros.  The original starred Michael Jordan, who teamed up with the Looney Tunes cast to battle a group of aliens in an epic basketball game.  Lin and Andrew Dodge are writing the script for the film.

Rumors of a “Space Jam” sequel sparked last summer after James and his company SpringHill Entertainment signed a deal with Warner Bros. James has been compared to Jordan since the NBA all-star entered the league in 2003. Following Jordan’s footsteps on the big screen makes sense for James, as well as the studio, which is constantly looking for material with established brand value.

James made his acting debut in the Judd Apatow comedy “Trainwreck,” where he played himself. He received strong reviews, especially for his comedic timing opposite seasoned vets like Amy Schumer and Bill Hader.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/space-jam-sequel-lebron-james-justin-lin-1201764478/

NBA: Miami Heat to Retire Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 32 Jersey

Shaquille O'Neal (in his No. 32 to be retired by the Heat) celebrates the Heat's championship in 2006 alongside current Heat guard Dwyane Wade. (Andrew D. Bernstein / NBAE/Getty Images)
Shaquille O’Neal (in his No. 32 to be retired by the Heat) celebrates the Heat’s championship in 2006 alongside current Heat guard Dwyane Wade. (Andrew D. Bernstein / NBAE/Getty Images)

article by Ira Winderman via chicagotribune.com

Shaquille O’Neal will become the third Miami Heat player to have his number retired, with the team announcing today that O’Neal’s No. 32 will join the No. 33 of Alonzo Mourning and No. 10 of Tim Hardaway already raised to the rafters at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“Shaquille O’Neal is one of the truly elite players in the history of the game and one of the greatest players to ever wear a Heat uniform,” Heat President Pat Riley said in a statement. “He took us to another level as a basketball franchise while leading us to our first NBA championship.

“Retiring his number in the rafters, along with Heat greats Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway, is something we are very proud of.”

O’Neal’s jersey will be raised early next season, with the 2016-17 schedule not to be released until mid-summer.

With O’Neal honored for his relatively brief Heat tenure and single championship with the franchise, it makes it all but inevitable the Heat eventually will retire LeBron James‘ No. 6, with James spending more time with the franchise and winning two titles in his four seasons with the team.

NBA MVP Stephen Curry Named AP Male Athlete of Year

OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Currys greatness as a basketball player can be measured by his record-setting shooting numbers that are changing the game.  His immense popularity derives from something less tangible.

While many NBA greats rely on uncommon height and athletic ability that average fans can only dream of having, Curry’s game relies on the skills that every casual player can work on: shooting, dribbling and passing.

The difference is, perhaps nobody ever has put those three skills together the same way Curry has in the past year, as he has dominated on the court and made the once-downtrodden Golden State Warriors the NBA’s must-watch team.

“The way that I play has a lot of skill but is stuff that if you go to the YMCA or rec leagues or church leagues around the country, everybody wants to shoot, everybody wants to handle the ball, make creative passes and stuff like that,” he said. “You can work on that stuff. Not everybody has the vertical or the physical gifts to be able to go out and do a windmill dunk and stuff like that. I can’t even do it.”

That’s about all Curry is unable to do on the basketball court. His amazing year, in which he won an MVP, led Golden State to its first title in 40 years and helped the Warriors get off to a record-setting start this season earned him The Associated Press 2015 Male Athlete of the Year.

Curry finished first in a vote by U.S. editors and news directors, with the results released Saturday. He joined LeBron JamesMichael Jordan and Larry Bird as the only basketball players to win the honor in the 85 years of the award. Curry beat out golfer Jordan Spieth, who won two majors, and American Pharoah, who became the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown.

While American Pharoah got three more first-place votes than Curry’s 24, Curry appeared on 86 percent of the 82 ballots that ranked the top five candidates. More than one-third of the voters left American Pharoah off their list.

“That’s a real honor,” Curry said. “I’m appreciative of that acknowledgement because it’s across all different sports. … It’s pretty cool.”

Continue reading “NBA MVP Stephen Curry Named AP Male Athlete of Year”

LeBron James Shares Touching Moment with Special Olympics MVP Aaron Miller

LeBron James and Special Olympics MVP Aaron Miller (photo via Vibe.com)
LeBron James and Special Olympics MVP Aaron Miller (photo via Vibe.com)

Tuesday night, Lebron James showed everyone what good sportsmanship looks like.

Even as the Cleveland Cavaliers pushed towards a 89-77 win in Boston, the 11-time NBA All-Star went out of his way to greet Special Olympian Aaron Miller.

Miller, who is a golfer and basketball player, beamed in awe as James ran over to the side of the court to shake his hand during the second quarter.

“I wasn’t able to hear the whole story because I was in the game and Coach [David Blatt] was drawing up the play,” James said of the moments leading up to the encounter. “But I looked up by the JumboTron and I saw what [Miller had] been through and where he is now. I think the doctor said he would never walk again or talk again. I looked up there and right from there, it became so much more than basketball.”

James also gave the 16-year-old, who suffers from severe brain damage, his basketball shoes he wore during the game.

“When I saw his story, it was just like, I don’t know, I felt like I was a part of him. Just showing my respect, gave him my shoes. It was well received by him. It was not for you guys or the fans. It was for him.”

article by Blue Telusma via thegrio.com

LeBron James Signs Historic Lifetime Deal With Nike

Lebron James/Nike (photo via slamonline.com)
Lebron James/Nike (photo via slamonline.com)

LeBron James is setting the bar with his latest venture — a lifetime deal with Nike that’s the first of its kind in the apparel juggernaut’s 44-year history.

The company made the announcement on Monday, ESPN reports, although full details of the deal haven’t been released. Nike and James first came together in 2003, before the star was a member of the NBA. At 18 years old, he was given a seven-year Nike endorsement contract worth just over $90 million. The risk paid off; LeBron has gone on to become one of the most successful players and businessmen in the field.

The deal surpasses previous partnerships between Nike and other players like Michael Jordan and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. And it’s a first for Nike, who’s never completed a lifetime deal with an athlete. Both parties released statements.

ESPN reports:

“We can confirm that we have agreed to a lifetime relationship with LeBron that provides significant value to our business, brand, and shareholders,” Nike said in a statement. “We have already built a strong LeBron business over the past 12 years, and we see the potential for this to continue to grow throughout his playing career and beyond.”

“It meant a lot to me even when I signed my first deal just to be with Nike, and it means even more that they’ve given me this,” James said. “It’s like I said, very humbling and grateful, and I’m going to continue to do my job and represent the brand the best way I can like I know how. Hopefully, people see that.”

The player will reportedly earn over $30 million a year from Nike.  The deal will more than likely fuel James’ philanthropic efforts long after he steps off the court. This year, he announced a scholarship program called “I PROMISE,” which will assist exceptional high school graduates as they move on to college. Parents of the program will also receive assistance in completing their GEDs, as well as job training programs.

article by Desire Thompson via newsone.com

LeBron James is Wearing Shorter Shorts to Be a Better Role Model for Kids

LeBron James in shorter shorts as compared to last season (photo via twitter.com)
LeBron James in shorter shorts as compared to last season (photo via twitter.com)

These days Cleveland Cavaliers’ superstar LeBron James is sporting smaller game shorts and a tighter-fitting jersey as a way to help shape the future.

The four-time MVP has done some self-reflecting in recent years. He’s observed the changes in the NBA, which led to questioning himself: Am I doing all that I can? Am I truly leaving my imprint on not only the game, but also the league?

“I’m always thinking about ways I can be of help,” James told cleveland.com. “That’s what it’s about, making sure you’re doing your part.”

James has proven to be more than just an athlete, as he’s the most socially conscious athlete of this generation with his willingness to voice his opinion on issues of the day.

His personal objective is making a difference, on the court or off of it.

This season he trimmed his uniform shorts by a couple inches, and had his jersey made snugger than in years past. He had expressed to those close to him he wants to leave the baggy look behind and place a renewed emphasis on professional appearance when it comes to the size of his uniform as well as his pregame and postgame attire.

When he arrives for work at The Q, he typically wears a sportcoat. It’s his way of reaffirming that it’s a business atmosphere. Professionalism and conduct were a main focus of the Cavaliers’ pre-regular-season team meeting in late October.

As James is the biggest name in the league and arguably in all of sports, he feels an obligation to shift the minds of kids on what is considered fashionable and acceptable. The kids who will play in the NBA in the future look to today’s players as role models.

When it’s all said and done, if James goes down as the best basketball player of all-time and that’s the extent of it, he’d consider that a failure of a career.

Growing up in Akron, he has seen the effects of poverty and a lack of education. He’s witnessed how senseless murders affect families for generations and he’s seen the effects of people who could have had an influence doing nothing to put a stop to it.

“I have a calling, man,” James told cleveland.com. “Everything I do is for the people I love. I was just brought up that way.”

James can’t force change, but he can force people to think and take notice. It’s pretty cool to dress professionally, and he wants everyone to know that.

article by Chris Haynes via cleveland.com

FEATURE: Debbie Allen Discusses Directing TV & Her Many Roles in “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12

Director/Producer/Actor Debbie Allen (TERENCE PATRICK FOR VARIETY)

Debbie Allen rose to fame with “Fame,” serving as a director, producer and choreographer. She was also the first black woman to be Emmy-nominated in the dramatic lead actress category. More than three decades later, she has a recurring role on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and is a frequent director — and now executive producer of the show. “It’s a little crazy, but what a great life,” Allen tells Variety. “I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof that somehow landed on all fours.”

What are your new responsibilities on “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12, being a director, actor and executive producer?

I’m very involved in every episode, in terms of production design. I’m selecting the directors this season, looking over everything from makeup and hair to the actors’ concerns. I spend a lot of time with the writers, which I love.

How do you balance acting in an episode that you’re also directing and producing?

It’s actually how I started on “Fame.” I trained in acting, literature and theater, so talking to actors is something I’m really used to doing. That gives me a little bit of an edge sometimes. I know how to speak the actor’s language. On “Fame,” I started as Ms. Lydia Grant and I was the choreographer, but I soon became their favorite director because I knew how to shoot the dance and then I understood the acting. Doing it all at the same time is how I came into it.

Have you noticed a big change in your role on “Grey’s,” now that you’re an executive producer?

Very dramatic change. I’ve always been there as a director and somewhat of a den mom — it’s interesting; so many of them grew up on “Fame,” and I’ll never forget the first time I directed, Patrick Dempsey started singing “Fame” and doing jetes, and I’m like, “Stop it already. Stop it!” — so now, there are things that are my responsibility or things that I keep my eye on or things that I can mitigate. I’m responsible for a lot of things, which is a wonderful position to have. I’ve done this once before on “A Different World.” I was the executive producer and director on that show for five years. But this is different. It’s an hour, it’s in its twelfth season, but it feels like it’s brand new.

Speaking of Patrick Dempsey, how is the set different without him?

We had a great relationship. My nickname for him was “Dash” — Dash was the kid in “The Incredibles” that was running fast. He would come through the set like that. He was on the move. Racing cars defines him for real. Patrick is not there so it changes the dynamic of the story for Meredith.

How much will you be featured in this season?

Catherine Avery is still a guest star. She’s not a series regular, but I’m there so when they need me now — last year, they had to go and try to find me — they can take advantage of me, and it’s okay! I’m not mad about it.

Continue reading “FEATURE: Debbie Allen Discusses Directing TV & Her Many Roles in “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12″