So I’m officially back from my trip to Akron for the LeBron James Innovation & Inspiration Summit and it’s time to let y’all know what went down. Throughout the day I’ll be posting tons of pictures from all the stops on the trip, but first up it’s the Ed Davis Community Center.
When we arrived inside, Nike had setup a gallery space that spans the life of LeBron’s NBA career. Featuring footage and photos from games and ad campaigns, along with ridiculous kicks from each year – some from LeBron’s own personal collection – you could trace his story leading up to this year’s MVP award.
Jason Petrie, the designer of the Nike Air Max LeBron VII was in the house, and after we got through the gallery spent some time talking with Kix and the City’s Rich Lopez about the philosophy behind the Nike Air Yeezy.
When we finally got into the gym for the global webcast and unveilling of the LeBron VII, the place was packed. The LeBron James Shooting Stars (his AAU team) were in the house, along with tons of kids from the local community in Akron. Coach Dru Joyce told me earlier that it was always LeBron’s dream to put Akron on the map, and it’s safe to say that he’s arrived in a big way.
When the shoe was finally showcased by Saturday Night Live‘s Kenan Thompson, the crowd was feelin’ it. “I like my shoes to look good first,” said LeBron. “Kids won’t wear shoes that don’t look good.” And it’s clear that the LeBron VII – which is LeBron’s lightest signature shoe to date – will follow in the footsteps of the extremely popular LeBron VI.
Some tidbits from the event:
- The LeBron VII kind of looks like a combination of the Jordan XI and the Hyperdunk
- When asked if Shaq is going to help the Cavs, all LBJ said was: “I hope so”
- His favorite shoe is the Air Zoom Generation as it was his first shoe
- When asked who he considers himself better than, LeBron said: “I consider myself better than me. I don’t compare myself to Kobe, D-Wade, ‘Melo or CP3.
- His favorite game of all-time was Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Detroit. “I had a pretty good game.”
Once the community event was over, all the journalists stuck around and got some time to just chat with LeBron and ask him anything. These topics ranged from contract extensions and 2010 to “The Dunk” and everything in-between.
The most interesting topic that he addressed was the skipping the media (“Your job doesn’t begin until our job ends”) and the non-hand shake. “In tennis, you shake hands. In the NBA, for 82 games you don’t shake hands. It’s not common. I will never except losing, and I won’t apologize for nothing regarding not shaking hands.”