LeBron James is to basketball what Michael Phelps is to swimming: by far the best athlete in his sport on the planet. And like Mike, the Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star is exposing himself as an admitted dope smoker. Only this time, it's voluntary, in the form of a forthcoming book that recounts how teenage success went to King James' head:
"I was arrogant, dubbing myself "The Chosen One," James said. "In hindsight, I should have kept quiet, but I also was what I was, a teenager where every reporter in the world seemed to be rushing toward me at once."
James also revealed he and his teammates smoked marijuana one night after getting access to a hotel room in Akron.
Deadspin's Tommy Craggs reacts:
It's a little parable, you see. He "struggled" with fame and as a result indulged in a harmless and all but legal drug that has been used by roughly a hundred million Americans. It'd be like saying LeBron struggled with fame and as a result indulged in a bacon cheeseburger, except that bacon cheeseburgers are not actually harmless.
Sadly, we still live in a country where a hugely successful individual's private recreational choices are not just news, but have to be revealed only in cautionary, past-tense morality tales.
Still, this represents another brick being knocked out of the wall of national denial we have about a substance that should have never been made illegal. Winners smoke pot, losers smoke pot, Barack Obama smoked pot, Arnold Schwarzenegger smoked pot, Michael Phelps smoked pot, Rex Hudler smoked pot, Bill Walton smoked LOTS of pot, I've smoked pot, you've probably smoked pot, and for the vast majority of us (with the possible exception of Bill Walton) it's had next to nothing to do with the general conduct and outcome of our lives. I can't wait to live in a country where I never again feel like admitting an uninteresting thing about my boring private life is one micro step toward correcting a massive injustice and an ongoing national lie.
So thanks, LeBron, keep on dunking, and apologize to no one.