LeBron James may have taken his talents from Ohio to Miami a few years ago, but he will always be a Buckeye in some way. Despite the fact that King James never actually attended Ohio State, he has very publicly become one of the faces of the Buckeye Nation fanbase. Recently, LeBron was seen prowling the sidelines at the football game versus Wisconsin, spoke to the team and fans at the pregame pep rally (deemed the Skull Session in Columbus) and even showed up court side to support the basketball Buckeyes in a showdown with Duke a couple of years ago When most people think of James, they think of back-to-back championships, Olympic gold medals and overall greatness (unless you are Skip Bayless, then the dart board you have of LeBron’s face comes to mind). However, there are still plenty of Ohio sports fans that painfully remember “the decision” and its aftermath. While the level of disdain has died down in the years since the decision, there is still some animosity left in the hearts of some Clevelanders when it comes to the King. Many of these same Cleveland sports fans are Buckeye supporters, students or alumni. That puts them in somewhat of an awkward situation when it comes to James’ involvement with the athletic department. At that very same Skull Session this past week it was mostly cheers that greeted James when he took the microphone, but there were certainly some audible booing that occurred. Clearly, not everyone in Ohio is ready to…
LeBron James could have played football for Ohio State had he chosen. He was an All-State wide receiver, who was recruited by major programs. In fact, he was recruited by current Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer when Meyer was an assistant at Notre Dame.
For a game in late September, the stakes couldn’t be much higher for Ohio State and Wisconsin. The Buckeyes are riding a nation’s best 16-game winning streak and positioning itself for a return to the BCS title game stage; the Badgers, aside from one controversial loss, is taking on the look of a team poised for a third consecutive trip to the Big Ten championship game.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The royalty theme has been taken to another level. After publicly calling Wisconsin the current “king” of the Big Ten early in the week, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has trumped that by welcoming another “King” to his sideline on Saturday night as the programs collide in a critical meeting of conference favorites.
The rivalry, the stakes and the recent history with the No. 23 Badgers were already enough to build the buzz for the divisional showdown, but now LeBron James has been thrown in the mix as a confirmed guest of the No. 3 Buckeyes, potentially throwing even more fuel on the fire with an NBA superstar in their corner.
“Give me all kinds of LeBrons,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said this summer. “He’s a great role model. The way he articulates, his look, the way he treats people, the focus — those leadership videos we use, his face is plastered all over them.
“First of all, the guys all admire him. The head coach really, really admires him.”
Meyer even once tried to recruit James to play football for him, at that time not realizing who he was or how bright the future was for the four-time NBA most valuable player.
And aside from that tie to Meyer, James is also an outspoken Buckeyes fan after growing up in Ohio and even has a locker in the newly renovated basketball complex that displays his line of shoes and the clothing the team wears.
Ohio State already had plans in place for a “Scarlet Out” for the anticipated crowd of around 106,000 while the team will be wearing special rivalry uniforms, which made it clear well before kickoff how much importance the program is placing on a chance to showcase itself on a national stage.
And in case all that stuff didn’t have the Buckeyes fired up, Meyer calling the Badgers the reigning “king of the Big Ten” certainly got their attention as well.
“I mean, we know we’re the kings,” cornerback Bradley Roby said. “We’re not worried about anybody else. Simple as that.”
Ohio State has a chance to reclaim that crown on Saturday, and it will have the support of basketball royalty and a proven champion on its sideline.
Bringing in athletes from the professional ranks to give motivational speeches has been a trend among college football teams in recent years, so it’s no surprise that the Ohio State Buckeyes plan to adopt that tactic this weekend. What may surprise you is that, according to Ben Axelrod of Scout.com, the No. 3 Buckeyes have asked NBA superstar LeBron James, who enraged many Cleveland fans when he left the Cavaliers in 2010, to give a pregame speech prior to the upcoming matchup with No. 23 Wisconsin. He will also remain on the sideline for the duration of the contest, which takes place Saturday night at Ohio Stadium. King James is an Akron, Ohio, native, but he never attended college. He jumped straight into the pros after an impressive high school career at St. Vincent-St. Mary but has always remained a fan of OSU athletics. Axelrod noted that James has close ties to current Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer, stemming to his days with Notre Dame. The then-wide receivers coach attempted to convince LBJ to put on the pads at South Bend, but was clearly unsuccessful in his efforts. James was also given a commemorative locker in the Ohio State men’s basketball team’s locker room earlier this year. The four-time NBA MVP hasn’t played in an official football game since his All-State high school career with the St. Vincent-St. Mary ended, but he does know a little something about winning. James’ Miami Heat squad is coming off back-to-back championships, in which he was…
An Ohio State spokesperson confirmed to BuckeyeSports.com that four-time NBA MVP and Ohio native LeBron “King” James will be on the sideline supporting the No. 3 Buckeyes before the team’s biggest test of the season, a primetime showdown with conference foe No. 23 Wisconsin. Though he won’t give a pregame speech to the team as was originally reported.
Urban Meyer said LeBron James is one of the best leadership examples he can show his football team.
“When I see LeBron James, I hear that criticism, I do know LeBron , not very well, but what are …