WE LOVE LEBRON. ONE OF THE MOST DAPPER ATHLETES. OFTEN IMITATED, NEVER DUPLICATED. HERE'S A SMALL INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY ASSOCIATE PRESS.
LeBron James has raised his fashion game.
"You look good, you play good," James said Monday after practice. "I was brought up that way."
James, who takes great pride in his wardrobe and tries to stay ahead of the style curve, will appear on the February cover of GQ Magazine — another first for the NBA superstar whose career has been defined by firsts.
Posing in a slate gray suit, pink shirt and gray tie, James added the GQ cover to his run of magazine fronts from Sports Illustrated to Fortune to Vogue, in which he was the first black male to appear on the cover in the influential fashion magazine's 116-year history.
"It's great," he said of his GQ cover. "It shows that I'm fashionable. I never thought I would be on the cover of GQ. But I've done some things I never thought I would do."
James sported a knit cap and scarf accessorized with a watch and leather studded bracelet as the Cavaliers prepared for their flight to Memphis, the first of six road games in the next two weeks for Cleveland.
A few years ago, James hired a personal stylist who helps with his wardrobe. But he joked that someone else may have more to do with his trendy duds.
"I have to thank (NBA commissioner) David Stern," James said. "Ever since he put in the rule about having to get dressed for the game, I had to get dressed."
Stern cracked down on his players a few years back, implementing a dress code of "business casual" attire and banning items such as sleeveless shirts, shorts, sunglasses while indoors, and headphones during team or league business.
Along with appearing on GQ's cover, James played a pickup game of hoops with a few of the magazines writers and editors, who drove to Cleveland for the chance to get on the court with the 24-year-old superstar. They also sat down for an interview in which James discusses his endorsement deals, his two young sons and Barack Obama's election as U.S. president.
James contributed $20,000 to a committee supporting Obama, participated in an early voter registration rally and hosted a free concert at Quicken Loans Arena with rap star Jay-Z to support his candidate. James is disappointed he won't be able to attend the President-elect's inauguration next week in Washington.
"Looking at the schedule and seeing we were going to be on the West Coast hurt a little," he said Monday. "But I have a job to do. It (the inauguration) is going to be unbelievable. I'll watch it and read about it. It will be an unbelievable day."