Earlier this week, Lakers star LeBron James posted a picture of himself on Instagram in which he was reading a copy of the Autobiography of Malcolm X, while riding a stationary bike.
After defeating the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 2 of the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs, James, who also brought the book into the postgame presser, was asked about his take on the book.
“It’s him understanding how powerful the negro can be. He uses that word a lot. But we have to unite and we have to to be together and we have to stand strong because there’s always going to be obstacles. There’s always going to be things that’s going to be thrown at us where they try to weaken us, they try to make us feel like we’re not kings and queens and it’s going to come from all different races and all different shapes and sizes and things of that nature.”
Lebron is reading ‘The Autobiography of Malcolm X’ – I asked him for his biggest takeaway from the book. pic.twitter.com/s2OzUww3XD
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) August 21, 2020
Interestingly, as Outkick’s Jason Whitlock notes, judging from LeBron’s “take,” it’s not exactly clear that James is really reading the book.
The Orange County Register’s Kyle Goon spotted James reading the book Thursday outside of Lakers coach Frank Vogel’s postgame press conference. Goon said it appeared James was early into his reading of the book.
Hmm. The first half of the book focuses on the life of Malcolm Little, the child and man before his conversion to Islam and a one-letter last name. The first eight to 10 chapters detail the poor mental health of Malcolm’s mother, Malcolm’s three-year life with a white foster family, the Swerlins, his move to Boston with his sister, friendships with Sammy the Pimp, numbers runner West Indian Archie and Shorty, his white girlfriend Sophia, his fall into drug abuse, drug dealing and robbery and his subsequent 10-year prison sentence.
What book is LeBron reading?
In addition, there’s nothing specific or particular in James’ comments which would reveal that he has actually read the book. The themes of unity, standing strong, being ready for whatever “they” try to throw at you, those are all fairly generic ideas that a remotely competent public speaker could easily conjure by just being vaguely familiar with a book’s subject matter and never having read an actual word of it.
It’s also revealing that James has made a point to ensure that he is seen with the book. It’s not really unusual for someone to take reading material with them if they’re getting on an exercise bike. It is, however, incredibly odd for someone to have an autobiography in their hands during a postgame press conference.
As Whitlock writes:
Inauthenticity is my problem with LeBron. His headfirst dive into politics and social justice warrioring has made him as phony an athlete as we’ve ever seen. He’s a full-blown politician willing to say and do anything to advance an agenda.
After his servants told him vandals spray-painted the n0-word on the gate of his $20 million Brentwood, California mansion, the dude compared himself to Emmett Till’s mother. LeBron never saw the graffiti. Neither did police. LeBron’s servants removed it before police could investigate. LeBron was in Ohio at the time of the alleged crime. Emmett Till was a 14-year-old child brutally murdered in Mississippi. Spray paint is equivalent to murder?
Now LeBron’s life is dedicated to avenging the death of Breonna Taylor? Now he’s posing for pictures reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X?
Stop it. LeBron has more in common with Vanilla Ice than Emmett Till’s mama. LeBron is a studio social justice warrior. He’s dedicated to promoting the narrative that black people are perpetual victims incapable of sustaining themselves without the assistance of white liberals.
Indeed, Malcolm X was quite outspoken on the particular dangers liberals posed to the success of blacks.
— Hotep Jesus (@HotepJesus) August 21, 2020
Seems like LeBron’s copy of the book may be missing a chapter.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn