In order to prepare his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates for what would come in the NBA Finals, LeBron James rented out a lounge at a swanky hotel, hosted a bonding party, and presented each teammate with a gift, an Apple Watch.
The party, which may be better described as how the modern wealthy athlete conducts a team meeting, was held at the Four Seasons in downtown San Francisco on one of the nights prior to game one of the Finals, according to Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com.
James, who is playing in his fifth straight NBA Finals and his sixth overall, used this as a chance to prepare his teammates, most of whom are playing in their first Finals, for what to expect during the series. According to Haynes, LeBron’s words were fairly prophetic in the wake of Kyrie Irving’s season-ending knee injury.
“The four-time MVP spoke of the unforeseen trials they would face,” wrote Haynes. “He touched on the adversity that would come with the territory, and he warned them of the unexpected setbacks that might occur. In it all, his message was to stay the course. But most importantly, stay together regardless of the circumstances.”
After LeBron addressed his teammates, the meeting became more of a social gathering in which LeBron had catered food brought in while music was “blasting.” James even brought in a barber so his teammates to get fresh haircuts for the series.
However, the big surprise came at the end when LeBron presented all of his teammates with the watches. James described it as sharing stuff he gets from “partners.”
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some great partners and whatever I get, I like to share with my teammates,” James told Cleveland.com. “It’s just my way of showing them that I care. That’s it. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last time.”
James got a small stake in Beats by Dre when he signed on as an endorser in 2008. He made $US30 million in cash and stock when the company sold to Apple, according to ESPN.
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