LeBron James has been named one of the most influential people on earth.
Rita Dove – a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who, like James, hails from Akron, Ohio – wrote the following about the superstar:
Who could have imagined that a basketball boy wonder, a prodigy from the projects, would bridge class and racial divides to evolve into King James of the International Courts?
By making good on his pledge to bring a championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers and by investing in the promise of future generations through his foundation, LeBron James has not only bolstered the self-esteem of his native Ohio but also become an inspiration for all Americans – proof that talent combined with passion, tenacity and decency can reinvent the possible. Poetry in motion, indeed.
Indeed, James led the Cavaliers to their first championship last season, ending the city’s 52-year title drought in the process.
The 32-year-old averaged team highs in points (26.4), assists (8.7), and steals (1.2), plus 8.6 boards per game. His Cavs are currently up 2-0 in their first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, and will take to the floor Thursday night as they try to inch closer to repeating as champs.
Time’s list features luminaries in a variety of fields, including politics, business, arts, and sports. James represents the only hooper on the list, while other athletes include Barcelona star Neymar, two-weight UFC champ Conor McGregor, and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles.