Bacon’s Bites: LeBron James restores your faith... And Hurst says it as it is! Good luck Blues.
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In his weekly look at the world of sport, MIKE BACON takes a look at NBA basketball star LeBron James’ latest venture and why Paul Hurst is making the right noises.
I know LeBron James is a multi-millionaire NBA basketball star.
But money and fame has clearly not gone to his head.
Indeed, how refreshing it was to read this week the story of how James is opening a school for underprivileged children.
The ‘I Promise School’ will house 240 at-risk third and fourth-grade students in James’ hometown Akron, Ohio.
The school is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and the Akron Public School and is designed to serve Akron’s most challenged students.
A great gesture by a sports star who remembers how tough life was for him growing up.
“School didn’t mean anything to me,” he said.
“There were just a lot of empty days, empty nights and just kind of a no-future thought process.
“It was mentally challenging. No kid at eight, nine should have that stress... So I know exactly what a lot of these kids are going through.”
Today’s sports world is dripping with money.
James, 33, recently moved from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year contract worth $154m (£116m).
Nice if you can get it.
OK, so not everyone is LeBron James, not everyone has his money, that’s understandable. But plenty have forgotten their roots, or wasted their money away. Or just stashed it for themselves and their families...It’s all about choices.
But the fact James has not forgotten his childhood is of great credit to him.
Interestingly, one thing he does flag up was the importance as a young boy to have a bike to ride!
It was a big deal for him, if nothing else offering a way out of dangerous neighbourhoods!
Therefore, it perhaps isn’t such a surprise to know every student at the school he is helping fund will not just have meals provided, as well as their education, they will all have a bike as well!
“We just want everything for them,” the three-time NBA champion said.
“Everything and more. So it’s going to mean a lot to me.”
Good on him.
Yes, he can afford it.
But that’s far from the point. It restores your faith.
The football season is back up and running this weekend.
And no doubt many fans of Ipswich Town will be hoping new boss Paul Hurst can sprinkle some magic dust on his squad and help fire them into the Premier League.
It’s probably far too much to ask for the Yorkshireman this season, but his stock is good and I don’t know about you, but I’ve liked what he has had to say so far.
Clearly a blunt talker, Hurst says it as it is.
That may be uncomfortable for some, but for Town fans, that’s just what they wanted to hear.
The gap between management, players and the Ipswich Town fans was wide and ugly by the end of last season.
In my opinion there was too much ‘them and us’ and as a football club that is so unhealthy.
In the short time I have heard Hurst speak, I can’t imagine him ever allowing that to happen.
He won’t blame fans if his team play crap or don’t get the results. He’ll take responsibility. I maybe wrong, but I bet I’m not.
I read Stuart Watson’s interview with Hurst in full – if you haven’t I suggest you go online at the EADT website and take a look. It’s fascinating.
Early days, but I like Hurst’s style.
The new Kings of Anglia magazine is out soon. It went to the printers this weekend.
If you haven’t seen one, a bit of a plug.
There are features with current and former Town players and managers, including Paul Hurst, George Burley, Flynn Downes and Martijn Reuser.
But it’s not just ITFC.
If you like your non-league, there is a great tale of Leiston St Margarets’ survival in the Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior Division last season, some favourite non-league grounds and a few Teams of Yesteryear – old non-league team line-ups from years gone by
Anyhow, if you want to pre-order you can order a copy here P&P is free.