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The Promise of LeBron James

The Rise, Fall from Grace, and Redemption of Ohio's Own

328 pages
The Kent State University Press

The story of LeBron James through the eyes of a Cleveland sports insider

LeBron James has been a polarizing yet beloved figure for sports fans around the world, possibly nowhere more so than in northeast Ohio, where he grew up. He began his basketball career hailed as “the chosen one,” a beacon of hope for a Cleveland team that had never won an NBA championship. He was then denounced for “the Decision” to leave and pursue his trophy dreams with the Miami Heat. The prodigal son subsequently returned to the Cavaliers, fulfilling “the Promise” to bring ultimate victory to Cleveland in 2016.

From the time James was a high school sophomore, former Cleveland Plain Dealer sports columnist Bill Livingston covered every step of his journey from the teenager who flouted high school league rules to a basketball icon and activist, one who even founded a school in his hometown.

In this engaging new biography, Livingston intertwines research, interviews, game highlights, and his firsthand experience with James and Ohio sports. Livingston’s perspective and incisive wit give a unique view not only into James’s evolving motivations, philosophies, and relationships but also to the characters and actions that have defined the Ohio chapters of his career.

This book is not only for fans of LeBron; it is for anyone seeking to understand his very personal relationship with northeast Ohio: what he means to the region and how the region shaped him.

Author Bio

Bill Livingston was the sports columnist at the Cleveland Plain Dealer for 34 years and has been nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, NPR, and PBS. His previous books include George Steinbrenner’s Pipe Dream: The ABL Champion Cleveland Pipers and Above and Beyond: Tim Mack, the Pole Vault, and the Quest for Olympic Gold.