LeBron James’ on-court excellence has made him one of the greatest players of all time with a legitimate claim of standing at the very top of NBA history. But the Los Angeles Lakers star is revered just as much for his off-court exploits.
James has become one of the most socially conscious athletes in the world and has contributed to numerous good causes throughout his career, including the opening of his I Promise school in Akron, Ohio for underprivileged kids. His philanthropy and social awareness even as a multi-millionaire have gained him even more fans, including one longtime one who happens to be a ball girl in Memphis.
As James checked out for the last time in the blowout win over the Grizzlies on Saturday, he handed his game-worn shoes to the Grizzlies ball girl who immediately teared up.
— 🤫 (@__Almxghty) December 9, 2018
After the game, LeBron was asked about the exchange and he was typically eloquent:
LeBron gave his game-work shoes to a woman who works for the Grizzlies. He hugged her late in the fourth quarter and she was very emotional. Here’s why. pic.twitter.com/VZVBheKxhi
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 9, 2018
It’s a testament to LeBron’s attention to detail and insane memory retention that he even thought of doing this but it’s also just the latest evidence of him excelling in things outside of basketball. These are the moments that make LeBron James a role model.