Time released its annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World on Wednesday, and amid the usual power players in the world of politics and entertainment, a handful of athletes were included in the mix. Tiger Woods, USWNT striker Alex Morgan, Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, professional gamer Ninja, and Olympic track and field champion Caster Semenya are on the list, as is LeBron James.
The list was broken down into five sections: Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, Icons, and Titans, with the Los Angeles Lakers standout receiving inclusion as a Titan. To celebrate James, Time turned to Warren Buffett, the CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.
Buffett wrote about meeting James years ago and how impressed he’s been with the four-time NBA MVP on and off the court over the course of his career. Specifically, Buffett praised how James has “kept his head” despite getting “tugged in different directions” and “a lot of chances to make bad decisions.” Buffett then applauded James’ successes in a number of fields.
“Early heroes will mold a person’s future,” Buffet wrote. “LeBron has justified the adulation of millions and millions of young people, thanks to his ability to live up to enormous expectations on the basketball court, his business successes in Hollywood and media, and his new I Promise School for disadvantaged kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.”
It’s the latest written piece highlighting how James has been able to leverage his success on the basketball court to turn himself into a celebrity and impact the lives of young people off of it. Earlier this month, ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst released a book on this subject titled “LeBron, Inc.: The Making of a Billion-Dollar Athlete.”