Okay, I’m not going to pretend to know anything about basketball. Like, really anything at all apart from the fact that the players are tall. But even I know who LeBron James is, and I want to talk about the fact that ESPN recently wrote on James’s love of the Paulo Coehlo modern classic The Alchemist.
Let me set the scene by directly quoting ESPN, because I know so little about basketball that I cannot even put this information into my own words:
A 96-83 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday puts the Cleveland Cavaliers one loss away from ending their season. One loss away from ending a streak of three trips to the NBA Finals. One loss away from snapping LeBron James’ personal string of seven straight appearances in the championship round. One loss away from James potentially walking out the door as a free agent this summer, saying goodbye to Cleveland a second time after spending eleven of his fifteen seasons in the pros playing for the Wine & Gold.
The drumbeat is getting louder around a league that is anticipating the end of Cleveland’s dominance in the East and suggesting a shift in power to whichever team James chooses next. Meanwhile, James sat calmly at his locker late Wednesday night and spoke about the quietest activity there is: reading.
So you know his position and where he stands, and we can continue with the story.
The Alchemist was gifted to James by his longtime trainer and friend Mike Mancias who said, “What do you give a guy that through his hard work now has access to explore whatever sparks his interest? Well, I thought you can’t go wrong with sharing a good book.”
Mancias drew comparisons between the journey embarked upon by Coehlo’s protagonist, Santiago, and James’s journey through his basketball career. According to ESPN, Santiago, a shepherd boy, “dreams of finding treasure by the great pyramids in Egypt and listens to the voice inside him, opening his life up to a world he never would have known.”
Though James has found in his family, accomplishments and sense of purpose, the treasure he sought, he is still excited by the journey ahead.
Coelho’s works The Devil and Miss Prym, Brida, and The Witch of Portobello are currently being adapted for television. If you’d like to get a taste of what has attracted the likes of LeBron to Coelho’s writing, take a look at our list of unmissable Coelho quotes!
Featured Image Via New York Post