Whether it’s fair or not, LeBron James is credited with the creation of the “super team” era in the NBA. In 2010, James announced that he was taking his talents to South Beach with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in an ESPN television special titled “The Decision.”
Ten years later, James is forming another super team for one the most important “decisions” of our lifetime: the 2020 United States presidential election in November. According to a report by Jonathan Martin of The New York Times, the Los Angeles Lakers star forward is teaming up with Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith and former NBA guard Jalen Rose to form an organization called “More Than A Vote.”
The organization will aim to combat voter suppression, specifically as it pertains to the African-American community in the United States, through social media. Here’s what James had to say about the group’s formation, via Martin:
“Because of everything that’s going on, people are finally starting to listen to us — we feel like we’re finally getting a foot in the door,” Mr. James said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “How long is up to us. We don’t know. But we feel like we’re getting some ears and some attention, and this is the time for us to finally make a difference.”
James told Martin that the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while being detained by Minneapolis police, inspired him to get more involved in politics. James also said that he was motivated by the high-profile athlete-activists that came before him:
“I’m inspired by the likes of Muhammad Ali, I’m inspired by the Bill Russells and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbars, the Oscar Robertsons — those guys who stood when the times were even way worse than they are today,” Mr. James said. “Hopefully, someday down the line, people will recognize me not only for the way I approached the game of basketball, but the way I approached life as an African-American man.”
James and Abdul-Jabbar recently spoke to the Lakers about Floyd’s death and the importance of social activism during a team Zoom call last week. As a team, the Lakers have done a tremendous job of using their platforms to speak out against racial injustice.
When James hangs up his sneakers, he’ll be remembered for being one the greatest players to ever step foot on a basketball court, but from the school he opened in 2018 to the “More Than A Vote” initiative, James continues to prove that he’s more than an athlete.