Braving the rains on Tuesday, thousands of basketball fans came in droves to personally “witness history” with the arrival and personal appearance of Miami Heat superstar Lebron James at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Some hard-core Lebron James fans came in wearing the Heat stars’ replica jersey along with a hand-made gold-colored crown to welcome the “King’s” first-ever visit in Manila.
For James’ part, he repaid the Filipinos’ overwhelming response with a show like no other – from rim-rattling dunks, to sweet-outside shooting along with his signature smile before thousands of adoring fans at the MOA Arena.
About a decade since becoming the Cleveland Cavaliers’ top draft pick, James has grown from a boyhood wonder whose noted for his highlight reel plays to becoming a two-time Olympic champion and just recently, four-time league MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP as well as two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat.
Despite his global popularity, what I liked most about James is that his feet remain rooted on the ground, championing visits like the one he did just early this week because of his passion to share his basketball journey and experience to young people.
“Besides the game of basketball, that is the most important – to inspire the youth,” said James during the after lunch press conference at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
“My hometown in Ohio raised me and motivated me to be the man I am today. For me to be who I am, inspire those kids, push them towards greatness… it’s a joy form me. I will continue to do that because it’s a passion of mine,” he added.
And to show his genuine desire to connect with young people, the 28-year-old James said he tries to let other people know his life through his Twitter account @KingJames.
“For the most part, when i tweet, that’s who i am. That’s my life and I interact with so many of my fans, be in touch with them for a daily basis, so it’s great. I love people to have an insight in my life and seeing them there,” explained the nine-time NBA All-Star.
James said the overwhelming welcome he received Tuesday inspires him to make a second coming to Manila.
Hopefully, I’d get a shot at interviewing him in his “second coming”.