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Jeff Gravley

Another chance to chat with LeBron

Posted October 23, 2012

Bear with me if you have heard part of this story before but some may need a refresher. Oh, and if you're a LeBron hater, feel free to stop reading but thanks for the click!

When I worked at WEWS-TV in Cleveland, Lebron James was in high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron. We decided to do a 1-hour documentary on LeBron following him from the start of his football season (he was an all-state receiver) through the last game of his basketball season (he won a state title). LeBron, his Mom and his coaches gave us access to his practices and his home. He and his Mom lived in a small, two-bedroom apartment and LeBron's room was filled with posters and pictures of his favorite players. An all-star cast including Michael, Kobe, A.I, and Vince covered every single inch of the walls in his room. 

That's where the picture of the two of us was taken. I have it hanging in my sports room at home and I keep it on my cell phone. 

Fast forward to the Miami Heat's visit to Raleigh to play the Charlotte Bobcats. I covered both morning shoot-arounds and was looking forward to getting a chance to interview LeBron again. I hadn't seen him in almost 10 years.

He was cordial and especially interested in talking about playing USA basketball for Mike Krzyzewski. The most significant thing he has learned from Coach K? Leadership. It shows in LeBron's growth to become an NBA and Olympic champion.

So the interview wraps up and I put down my video camera. Players were sitting courtside in a relaxed setting and I decided to approach LeBron again to show him the picture of the two of us from our Ohio days. I was apprehensive and didn't know what to expect.

"Hey Lebron," I said. "Here's a picture I want to show you." I handed him my cell phone and watched his reaction. A wide smile stretched across his face. "That's my room!!" he blurted out. I put the photo into context bringing up the documentary we did on him when I worked in Cleveland. "I remember that! I remember it like it was yesterday," he said taking a closer look at the image on my cell phone. That yesterday was 10 years ago and I was thrilled he remembered. 

My job rewards me with a lot of great perks and opportunities. Add another memorable moment to the long list.

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  • Gunnstigator Oct 27, 11:32 a.m.

    Great story, Jeff. I admit I watched the NBA playoffs and finals with the hopes of seeing Miami, and specifically LeBron, lose. Watching those games, I saw LeBron take his team on his shoulders when they were on the ropes - against Boston and Indiana - and he refused to lose. I always respected his athleticism, but I started to like Lebron, the man. Watching him play in the Olympics sealed it for me: LeBron is an amazing athlete, and a hard working, good man. I'm a Heels fan, but I admire and appreciate the players and K for representing Team USA so well. Watching LeBron and Durant - who had just fought each other tooth and nail in the NBA finals - play together so well and unselfish is something I'll never forget.

    I'm glad LeBron remembered that documentary you did 10 years ago. That's definitely got to be one of the perks of your job, one you'll probably always appreciate.

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