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Issue Date: October 2009

LeBron Watch

Jim Vickers
Sometimes Lebron James doesn’t even know what to make of his rise to the world stage. Olympic gold medalist? Sure. The NBA’s Most Valuable Player? Been there. But a global icon?

“A what? That’s like Michael Jackson, Coldplay, U2, Bono and those guys,” James remarked when a reporter used the phrase to describe him during a late-summer appearance in Akron.

Maybe he was being humble. Maybe he didn’t want to jinx it. But the Nike-sponsored 10-city tour James embarked upon this summer and fall to promote both his new Nike Air Max LeBron VII shoe and More Than a Game, the documentary about his high school basketball team, was a global one: China, Europe, New York, Los Angeles and, of course, his hometown.

The Akron visit, which included a premiere of More Than a Game at the Akron Civic Theatre (read our review on page 44), found James reminiscing with his high school teammates, Dru Joyce III and Willie McGee, about working with the film’s director, Akron native Kristopher Belman.

“He was never a burden to us,” James recalled. “Sometimes he would give us the camera, and we would film each other. A lot of the stuff in the movie is us filming each other and also him filming us. He just became one of the guys.”

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