LeBron James has admitted that he wishes he could still act like ‘regular people’ as he reveals the consequences behind his universal superstardom.
The NBA legend – widely regarded as one of the best to ever play basketball – insisted that he was not ‘complaining about it’, but revealed that there are times where his fame can become ‘challenging’.
James is now just 36 points from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record, and with the Californian outfit next in action against the Thunder, the Lakers legend will reportedly be in attendance to pass on the torch.
But the 38-year-old still maintained that having the spotlight constantly shining on him and his life prevents him from being able to so ‘normal things’ off the court.
LeBron James admitted his fame prevents him from doing ‘normal things’ off court
LeBron James has spoken up about the consequences a life in the spotlight can have
‘I don’t want to say it ever becomes too much, but there are times when I wish I could do normal things,’ James said to The New York Times.
‘I wish I could just walk outside. I wish I could just, like, walk into a movie theater and sit down and go to the concession stand and get popcorn. I wish I could just go to an amusement park just like regular people.
‘I wish I could go to Target sometimes and walk into Starbucks and have my name on the cup just like regular people.
‘I’m not sitting here complaining about it, of course not. But it can be challenging at times.’
James is not the first sportsperson to be vocal of the challenges that professional athletes come across in their careers, despite the obvious perks that come with a career in sport.
Cricketers Ben Stokes and Nat Sciver-Brunt have both in recent years taken a break from the sport in order to prioritise their mental wellbeing, as well as tennis star Naomi Osaka and American gymnast Simone Biles.
And while James’ comments do not indicate that he will be following suit, it does further highlight the strains and pressures on a prominent sportsperson’s career that fans might not immediately anticipate.
In his field, there are arguably none better than James, who is the only player in the whole of the NBA’s history to record at least 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 10,000 assists.
The 38-year-old is just 36 points shy of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time NBA scoring record
James is the only player in NBA history to record at least 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 10,000 assists
And as such, he has an enormous social media following to match that haul, with some 144million Instagram followers.
His friend and himself a former coach of the game Dru Joyce III told SkySports of how the Akron-born star was always aware of the attention that his abilities on the court would bring him: ‘[James] knew how good he was, and he knew the attention would come with it.
‘The things you see now I witnessed at 11-years-old, just on a smaller scale. He’s enhanced his tools and his fundamentals have sharpened – his game has become perfect.’
The Los Angeles Lakers star currently has some 144million followers on Instagram and is one of the world’s most followed sportspeople
And he has also spoken out in the past about the importance of using his elevated platform to advocate and support movements and initiatives to grant them greater coverage.
After last Thursday’s clash with the Pacers, James told the media: ‘Hopefully I made an impact enough so people appreciate what I did, and still appreciate what I did off the floor as well, even when I’m done.
‘But I don’t live for that. I live for my family, for my friends and my community that needs that voice.’