As a kid growing up in Northeast Ohio, I idolized LeBron James. Everyone did. So when he left in 2010, it clearly upset a lot of people. Letters were written and jerseys were burned. But now the King is back in Cleveland and he has his team on the brink of their first NBA title. I, through my vast network of personal and professional connections, was lucky enough to talk with LeBron on the phone last week after a 96-91 victory over the Warriors put the Cavaliers up 2-1 in the series.
LeBron, thanks so much for sitting down with me today. After last night’s game, I imagine you have to be exhausted both emotionally and physically.
LeBron: Yeah, man, you said it. I’m actually in a wheelchair right now. A lot of people don’t know this but after each game I experience a full body paralysis for 24-36 hours. Everything below the neck just shuts down. The doctors haven’t really been able to explain it but I think it’s just my body going into sleep mode so it can recharge. The same thing happens after sex, which is why I have to be very tactical about my romantic life during the season.
Sure, that all makes perfect sense. Earlier this week, you said that you have some extra motivation to win this series. Do you care to elaborate on what that motivation is?
LeBron: Listen, I’m not supposed to say anything. But you seem like a trustworthy guy so I can tell you off the record, as long as you don’t print any of it.
LeBron: Great. I’m glad I can finally tell someone. Jay-Z and Beyonce said that if I win the championship this year that I can finally join the Illuminati! I’ve been dreaming of this for a long time. I’ve been going through initiation for the past 5 years so it’s nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel. No more picking up Jay’s friends at the airport! No more doing Beyonce’s laundry! And no more changing Blue Ivy’s diapers!
One of the big stories of this finals has been the breakout of Australian point guard Matthew Dellavadova. What’s it been like watching him grow as a player?
LeBron: Well, like you said, he’s from Australia. I’ve always held a lot of resentment for Australia. You see, when I was a kid, a couple of kangaroos attacked and killed my uncle. It was a really gruesome scene. And I couldn’t believe that Australians were such a violent people. But then when Matt came along, I realized that kangaroos were just animals and that actual human beings also live in Australia. And I never would have found that out if Matt hadn’t joined our team. I’m glad he’s here.
Another breakout player in this NBA Finals has been Tristan Thompson. It seems like he’s everywhere on the floor, getting rebounds and playing solid defense. You seem to be coaching him a lot on the floor. What are you saying to him?
LeBron: A lot of people have said that I’m always coaching Tristan on the floor. But that’s not it at all. Most of the time I’m just making fun of him for having the name Tristan. What a stupid fucking name, right? I love the kid but holy shit is that a shitty dumb name. To be fair, I guess that’s what happens when you’re raised by a bunch of syrup heads in Canada. But wow, just, can you imagine having that name?
I didn’t realize you hated so many other countries so much.
LeBron: I hate all countries except Antarctica because that place is full of penguins and penguins are very cool. Like, people say watching me play basketball is incredible, and they’re absolutely right, but have you ever watched a penguin slide on it’s stomach? It’s unbelievable! And they look like they’re dressed in suits? Yes please!
Okay… well we’re running out of time, but before we go do you have anything you’d like to say to your haters?
LeBron: To all my haters, yuck it up while you can. Once I win this title and join Illuminati, all you motherfuckers are going to be dead! Illuminati!! I’m going to be in the Illuminati!! Wait, shit, Zach, can you make that off the record too? I just get so excited it slips sometimes.
LeBron: Thanks Zach. You’re the only person better at their job than I am. I respect you as a writer and a friend. You the real MVP. I love you.
LeBron: Do you love me?
LeBron: It’s a simple question. Just say you love me. Just say you love me!
Okay… I love you, LeBron.
LeBron: Shh… I know.
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