It was nice to see and hear that LeBron James – basking in all the worldly glory — had high school kids on his mind Thursday night.
In fact, the world's greatest player, 30 minutes after leading the Heat to their second straight NBA title, told reporters that the next time he plans to pick up a basketball was at his own Skills Academy Camp for prep and college players July 5-8 in Las Vegas.
Following a mammoth 37-point, 12-rebound performance in a 95-88 win over the Spurs, a reporter also asked what his goals are now after largely silencing his critics with a second straight NBA title and second straight MVP finals award.
He said first and foremost was to inspire kids and let them know they can overcome all odds with a lot of hard work. James didn't imply that work will lead to a celebrity NBA career like his own, but that the game teaches life lessons.
I thought it was a big picture message in a moment just gushing with adulation and self-absorption. Clearly, James hasn't forgot his roots, especially a decorated prep career at St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio)
"What can I say, I love kids," he said with a giant grin.
Another good message he offered kids was that he relied on all his skills he had worked over the last 12 months — namely his outside shot (he made five 3-pointers after struggling from the perimeter in the first six games) — and didn't abandon them.
His loudest message came from center court with the mike in his hand, the confetti falling and national television spotlight shinning. He had just received the MVP award. Again, he looked at a bigger picture.
"Listen, I can't worry about what everybody says about me," he said with trophies in hand. "I'm LeBron James, from Akron, Ohio, from the inner city. I'm not even supposed to be here. That's enough. Every night I walk into the locker room, I see a No. 6 with James on the back. I'm blessed."
If his goal really is to inspire kids, he did a good job on Thursday. He played a pretty good game too.