HOUSTON LeBron James was coming. He was leaving behind the pageantry and politics and the legacy talk and the comparisons to Jordan and all the other noise of the NBA All-Star Game to come here, to a Boys and Girls Club not far from downtown, where he would continue to stitch together a legacy utterly separate from the one he's crafting on the court.
More than 100 kids were lined up and seated on chairs and bleachers, clad in green shirts with LeBron's name stitched across them and that look of childhood anticipation only the innocent can conjure up. When the door opened. LeBron, wearinga Heat hat, walked in and waved. The place went absolutely nuts.
"Look at those shoes!" a little boy seated just to my left screamed. He turned the girl next to him, pulled on her shoulder, frantically. "Look! At! Those! Shoes!"
I looked at those shoes. All-Star Charles Barkley Nike's. Cool, sure, but just shoes, and this kid was going berserk. Then I looked at him. He was bewildered, exhilarated...