Over at Esquire, you’ll find an excerpt from Scott Raab’s new book about Lebron James:
It turns out the Heat have printed three covers of tonight’s program — one with Wade, one with Bosh, one with James. I take one of each.
On his cover, LeBron glares into the camera, head lowered, eyes hooded, tight-lipped, his thick white headband riding ever higher on his forehead as his hairline approaches oblivion. He stands with his hands on his hips, with his shoulders thrust forward, the visual embodiment of his summertime tweet:
“Don’t think for one min that I haven’t been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!”
He’s ready to wreak havoc upon the NBA. No prisoners. Blood on the hardwood. Mano a mano. If your name’s on Bron-Bron’s list, you’re going down hard as a motherfucker.
That’s the pose. I think back to a game his rookie season, against the Indiana Pacers, when NBA tough guy Ron Artest was mugging James as he fought for position to take an inbounds pass. Artest had an arm across LeBron’s upper chest and neck and a leg planted between James’s knees bowing him forward. Paul Silas was coaching the Cavs, and Silas came up off the bench screaming — first at the nearest referee for not calling a foul on Artest, and then at LeBron for letting Artest unman him.
James has grown stronger and smarter over his seven seasons in the league, but he still tries to finesse defenders like Artest. His game has never hungered for a battle, much less marked him as the cruel-eyed enforcer who glares out from the program’s cover.
You can pre-order “The Whore of Akron,” here.