LeBron James has been feeling a lot of pressure lately to help get his team, the Miami Heat, through the NBA playoffs. Down 2-1 games against the Indiana Pacers, the game on Sunday was crucial, as digging out of a 3-1 hole would make LeBron's hopes for a championship that much more slim. Needless to say, it was a really important matchup.
I'd imagine most players would work out or listen to some loud music or do a bunch of fist-pumping to get themselves raring to go. That's why I find it completely hilarious -- and kind of cute -- when I saw that not only did LeBron read a book to prepare for the Pacers, the book he was reading was none other than the YA sensation The Hunger Games.
Even though the book is about surviving and fighting and ultimately winning against all the odds (and it seemed to have worked, as the Heat went on the win the game), here are five reasons The Hunger Games may not be the best pre-playoff game reading material:
1.) The food: With all of the talk about starvation as well as the delicious meals Katinss gets to eat after being selected as a tribute, LeBron may walk away from his reading session more hungry than inspired. I can't imagine a hungry LeBron is a happy LeBron. And all he'll want is lamb stew with dried plums.
2.) The violence: A majority of the characters who die are mere children. They get stabbed and slashed and punched and hacked away at and stung and speared. That's probably not the best visualizations to have, you know, of mutilated children trying to slaughter each other, before playing a big game.
3.) The politics: I'm sure Heat fans don't want LeBron contemplating themes like totalitarian governments, unrequited love, the divide of the rich and poor, the struggle for survival, etc., while he's trying to make a slam dunk. He could stop mid-dribble and realize how fleeting and ephemeral the world of sports, plus all his fame and fortune, truly is. Hey, come on, you never know!
4.) The love: Of course one of the underlying themes of The Hunger Games is Katniss trying to figure out who the heck she's in love with (Team Peeta or Team Gale?). Not only do I really want to know which team LeBron is on, but he also might be distracted thinking about his high school sweetheart and fiancee, Savannah Brinson, with whom he has two kids. There's nothing like the fairer sex that can take your eyes away from the prize.
5.) The tears: There are some ridiculously sad parts in the book, from Katniss taking her little sister's place in the Games to Rue dying. It could make the toughest multimillionaire NBA player tear up a bit. But then Dwyane Wade walks by, notices James pulling out a hankie, and can't help but relentlessly mock his teammate and tell all the others and post the footage on YouTube. Not the best book for one's tough-guy image.
Of course, LeBron's reading ritual seemed to have worked since they ddi win the game, negating all of the theoretical situations you just read, so we can only wait and see if he'll be able to get through the entire trilogy as his team fights its way through the playoffs. Maybe we'll see Jennifer Lawrence at the next Heat/Pacers game.
Whoda thunk an NBA star and I read the same books?! That LeBron James, he's just like us.
Do you think there are better books for LeBron James to read before a playoff game? Which would you recommend?
Image via ABC