LeBron James on ‘The Decision,’ Miley Cyrus, and Personal Change

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Photo Courtesy of Stab at sleep, licensed through Creative Commons via Flickr

Photo Courtesy of Stab at sleep, licensed through Creative Commons via Flickr

LeBron James isn’t stupid, as much as fans of the 29 NBA franchises that aren’t the Miami Heat would wish it were otherwise. In fact, browsing through GQ’s cover feature on James, he comes across as relatively savvy — or, at least, keenly aware of his place in the universe of professional sports, as well as his relationship with his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Also, he doesn’t drink coffee, he is confident that he could average 35 points a game if he wanted to and, apparently, is prone to burst, mid-sentence, into songs and raps. He also confided to the magazine that thinks that Miley Cyrus “can have some of the shenanigans, but not all of the shenanigans, you know?” (No word on whether he digs Super Troopers.)

Since James doesn’t live in a bubble, and also because he is approaching free agency as soon as July of 2014, he’s done some thinking about life, the universe, and The Decision, the televised foray into his 2010 free agency that raised more than $2 million dollars for Boys & Girls Clubs across the country — per Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie – but left Cleveland Cavaliers management and fans outraged, turning James into the latest national portrait of a tone-deaf jerk. What a difference a couple years makes. After LeBron finally won a title in 2012, the hoops world reached a tacit agreement to collectively forgive him and just enjoy watching the best player on the planet do his thing — and the LBJ of 2014 is far from the perpetually scowling villain of 2011.

Kicking back at an ice cream parlor with his family, who you’ve seen in those eminently likeable  Samsung Galaxy commercials, James told GQ that The Decision ”helped me grow as a man. As a professional, as a father. At the time, as a boyfriend. It helped me grow. Being confined, I spent my whole life in Akron, Ohio. For twenty-five years. Even though I played professionally in Cleveland, I still lived in Akron. Everything was comfortable. I knew everything, everybody knew me — everything was comfortable. I needed to become uncomfortable.”

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