CLEVELAND - A year before he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, SLAM Magazine profiled a 16-year-old basketball prodigy from Akron named LeBron James.
The future No. 1 overall pick of the 2003 NBA Draft, 4-time MVP, 3-time NBA champion and 14-time All-Star would go on to be featured on the publication's cover 24 times -- the most of any player -- but never before in the fashion he is now.
On Wednesday, SLAM Magazine released a special collector's edition issue, dedicated solely to the Cleveland Cavaliers megastar. The issue features highlights from his high school days and 15-year NBA career, as well as an exclusive Q&A, in which James discusses how he hopes to be remembered as a basketball player.
First of all, that I was one of the most unselfish basketball players that played this game, at a level that he didn’t have to be unselfish—but it’s just part of my DNA. I cared for my teammates more than anything, but when I stepped out on the court, I gave it my all. There was never a moment when I didn’t give it my all. One thing that they will always be able to say is that I was a champion. They’ll never be able to take that away from me. Where they rank me, who I’m better than, who I’m not better than—I call that barbershop talk. That’s gonna happen. No matter if you like it or not, it’s gonna happen. It happens with the greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali. With Muhammad Ali, it’s who’s better, him or Floyd [Mayweather Jr]? Who’s better, Tom Brady or Joe Montana or Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning? It’s barbershop talk. What’s better, ham and cheese or peanut butter and jelly? They can’t even talk and people talk about them. It is what it is. For me, it’s just being able to maximize, and hopefully people will talk about some of the best qualities you have, more than the stuff that doesn’t mean anything.
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