I should say up front: I’m a diehard LeBron James fan to the point of irrationally defending him no matter what. I’ve rooted for him since he came in the league and loved his game ever since. And being a big fan, I’ve consumed thousands of words on his life and career.
So I wouldn’t say I know better than Jeff Benedict because I definitely don’t. I don’t know anything about LeBron’s personal life save that he’s a proud husband and father. But I was also disappointed to find that in reading this, I learned little more. I hadn’t read much about his time growing up in Akron; I knew it wasn’t easy but Benedict gives about as full of a picture as possible. Beyond that…meh. Just a whole lot of meh.
The basketball stuff is flat and brings nothing new to life. Benedict goes long into the LeBron, Inc. of James’ life, how he formed business relationships and built them. That’s impressive, I suppose. But for those of us who are fascinated with the subject, we never get a full portrayal of the man himself as this leans towards the hagiographic. I don’t need dirt or innuendo or “the hot goss.” But I’d like to know more about LeBron’s evolution as a human being, a player, a person. Benedict draws almost everything back to James’ traumatic childhood and yes, that’s certainly a factor — perhaps the biggest factor. But the man’s lived a full and complete life since he escaped public housing in Akron. What makes him tick?
This day and age, it’s tough to get a full, detailed biography on someone famous. And that’s fine, celebrities deserve their privacy too. But we also want to know the people who sell us shoes and soft drinks. I don’t need to know LeBron James’ personal business but I would have liked more insight on LeBron James the person. And this isn’t it.