LeBron James on enjoying anonymity: ‘It’s been so long, I don’t remember’
LeBron James has been a major player in the fame game he can’t even remember what it’s like to not be recognized, approached, hassled, whatever, whenever he steps out in public. Simply sitting down to enjoy a meal without interruption or slack-jawed admirers gawking at him while being held at bay by security or bodyguards is such a foreign concept for the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar it’s hard for him to even imagine what anonymity is, let alone actually getting to enjoy it from time to time.
Being a known basketball commodity since early on in one’s teenage years can have that effect on a person’s life, and that certainly is what James has experienced since he became a superstar in the making while dominating Ohio prep basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron.
James accomplishments at the high school level and beyond are of course well-documented, and his sudden notoriety at such a young age — while making it possible to reach the heights of success and fame he now enjoys (and arguably tolerates at times) — included a trade-off, a sacrifice, an acceptance that he would never be able to enjoy the simple things in life many take for granted.
In a lengthy profile piece from The Hollywood Reporter’s Marisa Guthrie published last week, the developing Hollywood empire James has been constructing is explored.
And it makes sense why he’s attracting Tinseltown’s attention.
Touching upon his Spring Hill Productions company’s role in developing a Disney series, a Starz-scripted series, a reality show for Bleacher Report and a trivia game-show pilot for NBC, the piece addresses the trappings of fame few are forced to navigate like James. He explained how relative anonymity is something he is unable to enjoy anymore.
“I can’t live anywhere normally,” he tells me the next day at his office. He has just padded in wearing gray sweatpants, a white T-shirt with a gray Nike swoosh and black Nike shower shoes with socks. He folds his 6-foot-8 frame into an office chair and rests his massive tattooed arms on the table. “I do normal people stuff,” he continues. “I go out to eat. It’s just I’m not normal, and I know that. It’s not like I’m trying to say I’m bigger than …”
Asked if he misses anonymity, he smiles: “It’s been so long, I don’t remember.”
James’ cameo appearance in the upcoming Amy Schumer-Judd Apatow film, “Trainwreck,” was also addressed in the in-depth piece, with Apatow saying, “We tested the movie, and he gets laughter as big as anyone.”
So, much like James’ life on the hardwood, everything seems to come easily for him off of it, even comedic acting. Let’s just say it’s good to be LeBron James, even with the trappings of fame that go along with being one of the most recognizable — and successful — people on the planet.