Ever since I wrote about Bible versions in our last blog post, “My Church Changes Bible Translations Every Year,” I couldn’t stop thinking about Lebron James, Not because we’re in the middle of the NBA finals, but because Lebron’s Twitter account is @KingJames.
Did his pastor gift him a King James Version with Lebron’s name on the front cover like me? Or was it a New King James Version? What makes it a New King James Version and why didn’t they call the previous version the Old King James Version? And again, when is “new” not new any more?
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what Lebron James thought of Jesus so I read through several articles and here are a few of my learnings:
- James attended St. Vincent-St. Mary Catholic School in Akron, Ohio from 1999 to 2003
- In 2010, when his teammate Rodney Stuckey suffered a seizure on the court, James prayed with his teammates and asked for healing over Rodney from “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
- In 2013, Indiana Pacers player George Hill said, “There’s only like one person who’s scarier, and that’s God.” When Lebron was asked about Hill’s quote, he replied, “I’m nowhere near close.”
- In 2015, when asked if the return of injured teammates Iman Shumpert and Kyrie Irving would help the team, James chided, “I hope we don’t think that way. It’s never that way. When you get your guys back, you prepare just as you prepare before. There’s only one guy ever in the world that everything will be all right when he comes back and that’s Jesus Christ. Other than that, you can’t bank on nobody being OK.”
- In 2016, after the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, in a post-game interview James said, “I don’t know why we want to take the hardest road. I don’t know why the Man above gives me the hardest road, but…the Man above don’t put you in situations that you can’t handle. And I just kept that same positive attitude, like, instead of saying, ‘Why me?,’ just saying, ‘This is what He wants me to do.'”
- In 2017, in an interview on the podcast “Road Trippin’ with R.J. and Channing”, James said, “There’s only three people in this world that can score on me in the post. Shaquille O’Neal in his prime and…who was it? Oh, it’s two, and Jesus Christ.”
- While on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in 2017, Jerry Birch, the Cleveland Cavaliers team chaplain, said “Many players are believers who don’t come to chapel. LeBron confessed Christ publicly early on on national TV. LeBron is a believer but he doesn’t come to chapel. Just thinking for a second to be in LeBron’s shoes gives me migraines. To understand the complexities and perseverance that he has to summon every day to be LeBron.”
Only God knows the faith of Lebon James, but he certainly has pointed to Jesus a variety of times in his NBA career.
Who knows if Lebron James owns a King James Version or a New King James Version Bible? But if you’re reading this blog post Lebron, just comment below. My bet is you have a New International Version just like me.