The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the great NBA (National Basketball Association) franchises, but they [also have] a history of winning championships. That’s what they should be doing, and I am here to help them get back to doing that. As a city, LA is great and one I know well [and have spent a lot of time in], so I do look forward to this new chapter of living here.
I just want to get playing [with my new teammates] now. A lot of experts seem to think that this will be a rebuilding season for us, but I don’t see it that way. I think we can do things that people don’t expect us to.
“Whatever success I have had is never enough. I always want more”
I keep my body in shape by training hard and eating well. I am also a big believer in stretching and yoga – not just if you are a professional athlete, as it can benefit everybody.
At the moment, I still have so much I want to achieve – the only way I am looking is forward. The end of my career [is when I will take] the time to reflect and look back.
I am never going to shut up or stop speaking out, [not when it comes to social justice issues] and leading our youth into a better life and a better way of thinking. [As high profile athletes], we do have a platform, especially when it comes to speaking to youth and kids. I know that [many] kids look at me as an inspiration to get out of the situation they are in.
Opening my I Promise School in my hometown of Akron, Ohio, was without a doubt one of the greatest moments of my life. The school is for children who come from challenging situations or backgrounds. [Funding and advocating for children’s education are] so important because every child deserves a fair chance in life, no matter what their start might have been.
My advice for young players joining the NBA [especially if the league starts allowing players to enter the draft straight out of high school] is to learn and be willing to learn. At the same time, [it’s important] to back yourself. If you are good enough, then you are old enough – don’t let the league intimidate you.
[Making shrewd investments and business collaborations] is about being smart with your money – about investing your money in safe places. Nothing is guaranteed, but you can make calculated decisions.
If I could assemble a team [for three-on-three pick-up basketball, including myself], I would pick Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson without any hesitation.
Both Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Muhammad Ali were men of great integrity whom I have a lot of respect for. It’s all about having your own path in life, but of course there are people I admire [and look up to for] what they stand for.
Family is everything. Everything I do and every decision I make is – at the root – based on how it will affect my family.
This summer, [I unwound from the season by spending some time with my wife, Savannah, and three kids] on a yacht in Positano, Italy. It’s on the Amalfi Coast, and looking out onto the beautiful water with my family next to me is something I am always going to remember.
This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine