Watching The Godfather movies is one of LeBron James’ not-so-secret training methods. He watched it so much during his 2016 NBA championship run that it boggled the mind, though he couldn’t quote a favorite line when queried. He’s branched out to reading the primary texts to compare that version against the cinematic version.
The lesson here is to find something you love as much as James loves consuming and talking about The Godfather and hold onto that thing for dear life. Grip it tightly in times of struggle and savor all the good times.
James, who has branched out into acting and movie production, has brought his affinity for the series with him out to Hollywood and today we learned an important development in the saga.
He’s identified a line and is using it to motivate his younger Los Angeles Lakers teammates.
The 6-foot-8 forward equated the situation to a scene from “The Godfather.” He quoted a line from Don Vito Corleone in which he told his son, Michael, that he wanted better for him in an attempt to discourage him from joining the family business.
James is essentially saying he wants his young guys to be better and suggests some losses will occur in the short term in order to establish a foundation to build a winning culture that’s sustainable.
“It’s all about the end game,” James told Yahoo Sports. “I want what’s best for this team and it takes going through some ups and downs. I know what I signed for. This was all expected. I’m up for the task.”
The Big Lead’s hardest-working media reporter Ryan Glasspiegel reached out to Ben Rohrbach, who shared the piece on social media and works with the writer, Chris Haynes, to get more information. And to glean if the analogy makes any sense.
The verdict? Well, to me, it doesn’t make much sense. James is not doing this in an attempt to get Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, and Brandon Ingram to drop basketball and take up politics. It doesn’t seem like having one ascending to mayor of Los Angeles and the other governing California would help the Lakers’ chances of winning.
But, hey, what do I know? James is often playing three-dimensional chess while the rest of us are playing checkers. Perhaps his point is that this team is his family and those bonds can’t be broken. Perhaps he means that he knew there’d be struggles but won’t ever apologize for his choice to leave Cleveland — and the title-chasing in Miami in-between those stints.
In the words of young Michael, hopefully we’ll get there. To a point where all is understood.