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News » NBA Stars Discuss Sport

NBA Stars Discuss Sport

NBA Stars Discuss Sport

NBA stars LeBron James and Chris Paul discuss their careers. Filmmaker Kristopher Belman discusses his documentary, "More Than a Game."

CHARLIE ROSE, HOST Welcome to the broadcast. Tonight two remarkable young men doing an extraordinary job in what they do. They are NBA stars, LeBron James first and then Chris Paul.


CHARLIE ROSE: Is every part of the dream then realized for you?

LeBron James, NBA MVP: I`m almost there.

CHARLIE ROSE: One big thing.

LeBron James: One more dream.

CHARLIE ROSE: The NBA championship.

LeBron James: Absolutely, you got it.

CHARLIE ROSE: And last year when you didn`t get it, how did that hit you?

LeBron James: It hurt. Any time I said I would go and, you know, I feel like just I can reach it, and it`s like right there and it doesn`t happen it hurts. It hurts.

CHARLIE ROSE: But tell me more. I mean, you`re so -- you -- you were there and you saw the Lakers take it.

LeBron James: Well, the Lakers are -- the championship goes to L.A. now of course. But we feel like we were right there and we didn`t, you know, hold up our end of the bargain. So, you know, we got another season. We`re looking forward to this one now. I know I got -- I got a teammate of mine that`s going to help me get there.

CHARLIE ROSE: By the name of Shaq?

LeBron James: Yes. By the name of Shaq.

CHARLIE ROSE: What does he add?

LeBron James: He adds a low -- a low pulse presence that I haven`t had.

CHARLIE ROSE: So you go down the paint, you got a place you can drop it off.

LeBron James: Absolutely. And even if I don`t go down the paint, I also give him the ball and let him go to work also. He does great.

CHARLIE ROSE: And you`re not worried about him being pushed out of the way.

LeBron James: Oh, if anyone can push Shaq out of the way, find him for me.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s got it -- looking, looking. Find Paul with two, with one, Paul for the win. Paul!


Chris Paul, NBA PLAYER: The competition is amazing. People always ask me what is it like to play in the NBA . And you know, everyone, you know, always talks about how they love college Basketball because they feel guys in the NBA take nights off and things like that. And from playing in the NBA , I can speak from experience -- there are no nights off. You are playing against the most finely tuned athletes in the world night in and night out. And if you don`t bring your A game, you will be embarrassed. You will be embarrassed, especially in our league.

So I know there are so many different things now, and that when I first came in it was about how fast can I do it, how fast can I do it. And now it`s about how efficient can I be.


CHARLIE ROSE: LeBron James, Kristopher Belman and Chris Paul when we continue.

CHARLIE ROSE: LeBron James and Kristopher Belman are here. In 2002, Belman began filming the varsity high Basketball team in St. Vincent-- St. Mary as part of a college course on documentary filmmaking. The assignment was to make a ten-minute movie. Seven years later, that story has been made into the feature film "More Than a Game." And here is a look at the trailer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s been dubbed the chosen one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: LeBron James is the best high school Basketball player I have ever seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you serious? Are you serious?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could see the LeBron phenomenon grow and grow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This all started in a little gym with a linoleum floor on Mason (ph) Street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was about to coach this travel Basketball team. I knew a very good player and his name happened to be LeBron James. When he was young, we came together as a team.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was kind of a hot head. He didn`t want anybody to say anything about his size.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We would play ten games of one-on-one and not leave until I win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, he wasn`t very good. He was big but he wasn`t very good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One thing that you need to be -- eat Wheaties (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He really had been through so much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was just a little bit more mature than the other guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I definitely learned a lot from my brother about sacrifice. That probably was the hardest time in his life.

LeBron James: I never thought Basketball was going to be my future. I just wanted to play just because it gets you girls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: LeBron. He and his mom had some tough early years.

LeBron James: We probably moved 12 times. The hardest thing for me was to meet new friends, going to new schools all the time. I wanted to finally have some brothers that I can be loyal to. And I think we all kind of shared that bond.

Senior year, there were five of us. Hands on each other`s shoulders, nothing going to stand in our way, nothing is going to separate us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are young kids and they started blowing teams out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five and 0, 15 and 0, 20 and 0.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They couldn`t believe we were still winning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: LeBron James is ineligible to play.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we were ever unified, we need to be even more unified today.

LeBron James: The team was like a family. You play your heart out for your family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was our last opportunity to do what we had been dreaming about since the fifth grade and that was winning the high school national championship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you guys to just for one minute try to grasp this thing. To be where you guys are at is a blessing that you guys will only understand later in life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So here we go. The high school national championship on the line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than a game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will always be about more than Basketball.


CHARLIE ROSE: At 24, LeBron James is already one of the NBA`s greatest players. Last season, he was the league MVP. I am pleased to have Kristopher Belman and LeBron James at this table for the first time. Welcome.


LeBron James: I appreciate it.


CHARLIE ROSE: To have you here.

LeBron James: Appreciate it.

CHARLIE ROSE: It`s a good film.


LeBron James: Thank you.

CHARLIE ROSE: Seven years ago.

KRISTOPHER BELMAN: Seven and a half. Yes.

LeBron James: Yes.

KRISTOPHER BELMAN: It`s a long time.

CHARLIE ROSE: It tells the story of what in your mind?

KRISTOPHER BELMAN: It I think tells the story of the American dream. I think it tells the story of -- of overcoming any obstacles that get in someone`s way to go after something that you want, you know. These are four boys, and then eventually a fifth one is added, five boys were chasing something that a lot of people would never even dream about because it is such an unreachable goal. But, you know, together they are able to achieve that, and in doing so, they form a brotherhood. They become men, you know. And they forge relationships that have lasted beyond an NBA career and will probably last the rest of their lives. I mean, I think that is really what the film is about.

CHARLIE ROSE: That`s it, isn`t it?

LeBron James: That`s exactly right.

CHARLIE ROSE: The bond of friendship on a goal.

LeBron James: That`s exactly what it is. You know, coach Dru always said use the game and don`t let it use you. You know, when you are a kid, you really don`t understand what that means until you -- now, as an adult I kind of understand like wow, we used the game and we didn`t let it use us. And we used it to create friendship, create loyalty, create an opportunity for us to become better as people off the court more than just on the court.

CHARLIE ROSE: But they have been with you beyond that, which is remarkable. And you need them and they need you, you know. And the bond, as he said, continues.

LeBron James: Absolutely. Still to this day.

CHARLIE ROSE: And how does it work out? Maverick handles the business end?

LeBron James: Yeah, Maverick is a big part of the business end. And, you know, the guys that I grew up with in high school, two of them are still playing Basketball professionally overseas. Another one is working on his masters and is a grad assistant at the University of Akron. And Sian Cotton, the other one is still pursuing his NFL career. He is now playing at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio. And, you know, he`s working on getting his degree also. So we all, like I say, are successful.

CHARLIE ROSE: You got this movie coming out. You are in another movie. What is it called, "Fantasy?"

LeBron James: "Fantasy." Yes. The next one (ph).

CHARLIE ROSE: Are you thinking about acting as your second career?

LeBron James: I`m not sure. I think with the right opportunity, I am going to give it a good shot and I think the Fantasy Basketball camp is a great opportunity.

CHARLIE ROSE: Seven years to make a film. You lived with these guys. Tell me about this guy. I mean, look at this. This is "Time" magazine, this is "Sports Illustrated," here`s "Sports Illustrated" again. Here`s "Sports Illustrated" again and here with Tom Brady`s wife.

LeBron James: My good buddy Tom.


KRISTOPHER BELMAN: I mean LeBron, you know, most people know LeBron as the athlete and they see him in the commercials. And, you know, he`s going to be phenomenal as an actor because he is so natural in front of the camera, but, you know, what I think what I learned about LeBron and I think what the film shows people is just how authentic he is as a person. I think -- I don`t know, I guess I`ve never really met someone that is so comfortable with who they are. You know, at such a young age, I think that confidence and all those things, a lot of that came from a life perspective and going through things that he went through as a child. It gave him a grounding and a big picture perspective where, you know, when adversity and things like that hit him later in life, he takes it in stride because he has already accomplished so many things that most kids will never have to go through.

CHARLIE ROSE: Speak to that, because it is true.

LeBron James: I think who I am today is because of all the trials and tribulations and hardships that I went through as a kid.


LeBron James: Growing up in a single parent household with just me and my mother and having to grow up -- having to become the man of the house at a young age, at six and seven years old and having -- OK, now, you know, I have to make sure that my mother is protected. You know, that helps you grow up a lot faster. Growing up in the inner city, where you see a lot of things that you never want your kids to see. And it just humbled me. It humbled me, and I thank the city of Akron where I grew up every day for giving me those hardships, because it basically set me up for who I am today.

CHARLIE ROSE: Is every part of the dream then realized for you?

LeBron James: I`m almost there.

CHARLIE ROSE: One big thing.

LeBron James: One more dream.

CHARLIE ROSE: The NBA championship.

LeBron James: Absolutely. You got it.

CHARLIE ROSE: And last year, when you didn`t get it, how did that hit you?

LeBron James: It hurt. Any time I said I would go and, you know, I feel like it`s -- I can reach it and it`s like right there and it doesn`t happen, it hurts. It hurts.

CHARLIE ROSE: But tell me more. I mean you`re -- so you were there and you saw the Lakers take it.

LeBron James: Well, the Lakers are -- the championship goes to L.A. now of course. We`re -- we felt like we were right there and we didn`t, you know, hold up our end of the bargain so, you know, we got another season. And we are looking forward to this one now. I know I got -- I got a teammate of mine that`s going to help me get there.

CHARLIE ROSE: By the name of Shaq?

LeBron James: Yes, by the name of Shaq.

CHARLIE ROSE: What does he add?

LeBron James: He adds a low pulse - a low pulse presence that I haven`t had.

CHARLIE ROSE: So you go down the paint, you got a place you can drop it off.

LeBron James: Absolutely. And even if I don`t go down the paint, I can also give him the ball and let him go to work also. He`s great.

CHARLIE ROSE: And you`re not worried about him being pushed out of the way.

LeBron James: Oh, if anyone can push Shaq out of the way, find him for me.

CHARLIE ROSE: The rivalry with Kobe, I mean most people who look at the two of you say they are the greatest players playing today, and the question is, you know, who succeeds Michael as the greatest player in the game today. Without suggesting, would you have an opinion on that?

LeBron James: Well, I think no one can succeed Michael. I mean, you look at his resume, it`s unbelievable. He`s done everything that you can do as an athlete, winning championships, individual accolades and everything. No one can -- he`s the greatest Basketball player that ever walked the face of the earth.

CHARLIE ROSE: And why is he that, because of his ability to win?

LeBron James: Absolutely.

CHARLIE ROSE: At the crucial moment.

LeBron James: Absolutely. You know, to be able to win -- this is a team sport. And to be able to carry his team and win in the biggest level no mater what level he was at, the biggest game, he always did that.

CHARLIE ROSE: And they did that after the team was made complete by the coach putting together the right five guys or seven guys?

LeBron James: Absolutely.

CHARLIE ROSE: And you think you are there now with the Cavaliers?

LeBron James: I think we`re there.

CHARLIE ROSE: You had a good start last year?

LeBron James: Great start. Great start.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. But a team needed one more solid (INAUDIBLE) guy.

LeBron James: I think we have him.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yes. Is your game -- help me out on this. Is your game complete?

LeBron James: I don`t think so. I don`t think so. I feel at 24 years old, there`s no way that my game can be complete. There`s too much more to learn. There`s too much more to see. There`s too much more to experience. And I feel like I`ve gotten better every year.

CHARLIE ROSE: Well, take from last year -- year before to the last year. Better in shooting. Better in rebounding. Better in team, understanding the game. Better in.

LeBron James: I think better in leadership.

CHARLIE ROSE: Leadership.

LeBron James: Leadership. Vocally. Making sure that my guys were always prepared to go out and play the game of Basketball every night.

CHARLIE ROSE: You just have got to create your own presence there for this.

LeBron James: Absolutely. It`s there.

CHARLIE ROSE: Who are your heroes?

LeBron James: My number one hero is my mother.


LeBron James: And that`s.


CHARLIE ROSE: She has become famous in her own right.

LeBron James: Yeah, I know. She is getting famous - she`s getting more calls than me these days.

CHARLIE ROSE: Exactly. You can say this is LeBron and -- LeBron, can I speak to Gloria?

LeBron James: Exactly. Exactly. She is taking more photos (ph) than myself. She was my number one hero, you know.

CHARLIE ROSE: Because without her.

LeBron James: Yeah, there is no me.

CHARLIE ROSE: There was no firm rock for you.

LeBron James: Yeah, no way, no way. The strength that she showed, see, as a kid -- you kind of, you don`t really understand it until you get older and you have your own family.


LeBron James: And now me having two sons of my own, I have no idea how she raised me or any kid by herself and not being able to be financially stable.

CHARLIE ROSE: And in a tough environment.

LeBron James: Oh, very tough.

CHARLIE ROSE: How do you pay back to her other than love? And I don`t mean by material possessions.

LeBron James: Right. I just, you know, always give back to her by just showing that I appreciate her. I don`t take for granted her being my mother.

CHARLIE ROSE: You look at all this and you say without her.

LeBron James: That`s it.

You substitute my head for her head and put her in a magazine.


CHARLIE ROSE: Was there anything you couldn`t, didn`t get with this film that you wish you could have gotten, or in seven years did you get everything you need to tell the story you wanted to tell?

KRISTOPHER BELMAN: I feel great about the finished product. I, there is nothing in there, you know, part of the -- part of the great thing about the film is that it was a truly -- an independent film. You know, from like the deepest sense of the word -- I mean, it started out as a school project.


KRISTOPHER BELMAN: And, you know, and these guys let me be a part of their life. I made a promise to them that, you know, the goal of the film wasn`t going to change no matter what happens. So five and a half years in, I`m still doing it by myself. I was finally able to bring in some pieces to take it to the next level, bring in some financing, start working with a professional crew. That wasn`t going to change the focus of the film at all, just because at this point, you know, LeBron is just killing in the NBA . And that wasn`t going to change the focus of the film at all.


KRISTOPHER BELMAN: And I also -- I mean, I couldn`t be more excited and proud of how the finished product was. It is exactly the film I told these guys I was going to make seven and a half years ago. I mean, I wouldn`t change a thing.

CHARLIE ROSE: Why is the title "More Than a Game?"

LeBron James: It speaks -- that title of the movie speaks for itself. The game of Basketball was just a vehicle that we used. I still believe.

CHARLIE ROSE: To show these values. Yes. Exactly.

LeBron James: I still believe it could have been anything. It could have been Basketball, it could have been football it could have been the chess club, it could have been a cheerleading team or guys, firemen or nurses. It shows the camaraderie that kids had and these group of kids, these inner city kids having a dream. And all of them putting their dreams together on let`s figure out how we can make this dream become reality. And then having adults, which was coach Dru, giving us opportunity to make that dream become reality. And now we took full advantage of it.

CHARLIE ROSE: I want to see a scene from the film now and coach Dru is encouraging you guys. Tell me about him.

LeBron James: Words can`t explain what coach Dru has done.

CHARLIE ROSE: It`s just an amazing.

LeBron James: He is an amazing person. He never -- he is -- when you hear a coach you always think OK, X`s and O`s.


LeBron James: He rarely spoke about the game of Basketball. It was all about how did he make us become young men. How does he set us up for after the game of Basketball. Because Basketball only lasts for so long when you can do it at a high level. And he put us in a position to be able to sit down and talk to Charlie Rose or sit down in front of -- in front of second graders and give them a speech.

CHARLIE ROSE: Or play golf with Bill Gates or Warren Buffett.

LeBron James: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

CHARLIE ROSE: By the way, how is your golf?

LeBron James: My golf is getting better. I do it a lot better on the video games right now.

CHARLIE ROSE: But is it something you want to do, learn, play?

LeBron James: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

CHARLIE ROSE: You will ask Warren and Bill for a return engagement?

LeBron James: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. You know, we had that little - that little wager we had going on out there too.

CHARLIE ROSE: Exactly. I remember. Take a look. This is coach Dru, this remarkable coach who is at the center of this film as well. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three seconds left. Wade (ph) for three, that`s not far! Alter (ph) has won the first half of this Basketball game!

They have an 11 to one run in the last four minutes and ten seconds.

LeBron James: Going out and I`m losing and thinking, not again. Not two years in a row.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fellas, it is not about the Xs and Os right now. It`s not. I want you guys to just for one minute try to grasp this thing. Have an opportunity that you guys have been given. Well, look around the room, guys. Hey. Let`s be real about this. Some of these guys, Dru, LeBron, Sian, Rome (ph), Willie, you will never play another game of Basketball.

To be where you guys are at, it`s just a blessing that you guys will only understand later in life.


CHARLIE ROSE: Now, what`s happened to coach Dru?

LeBron James: Coach Dru is still giving those inspirational speeches at a high school. As a matter of fact, to congratulate, they just won the state championship this past March again. So puts another state championship under his belt.

CHARLIE ROSE: But it does say a lot about leadership too in terms of understanding that he couldn`t play the game for you. There was no strategy to be imbued. What it was, was to understand the moment.

LeBron James: Understand the moment and respect the game .


LeBron James: . and the game gives back to you.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. Compare how he is with say, Krzyzewski, who coached you in the Olympics.

LeBron James: I think they are very similar. Because coach K is also one of those inspirational guys. He, you know, he gets you fired up for the game. But he also allows you to go play the game. You know, he kind of sits back and, you know, he implements the blueprint and he asks you to go execute it. And that was the same way coach Dru was.

CHARLIE ROSE: Taking the "Sports Illustrated" cover, this was February 18th, 2002. All right, you were a mere what, 17 years old?

LeBron James: Yeah.

CHARLIE ROSE: 17 years old. Did everybody there know that this is where it`s going to end up and -- that it was going to be what it is today? Were there just feeling -- I mean -- I mean the future was to be had.

KRISTOPHER BELMAN: Yeah, I mean I can`t speak -- I can`t speak for everyone, obviously. But I think there was the general sense within the Basketball community, and as time went on, you know, junior year, senior year, I think it was, you know, it was inevitable, OK, he`s not, maybe he`ll go to a top division one school. That was like as a sophomore. And as a junior, I think everyone was like, I don`t think this guy is going to college. You know what I mean?

CHARLIE ROSE: Just stop for one second. When did you make that decision?

LeBron James: I didn`t make the decision until after we won the national championship game. My senior year.

CHARLIE ROSE: So right after this game.

LeBron James: Right after that game.

CHARLIE ROSE: You said I`m going to the pros.

LeBron James: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: And did you counsel anybody and say listen, I think I`m ready. Do you think I`m ready? Or did LeBron know and that is all he needed.

LeBron James: LeBron knew he was ready. And I give a lot of credit to my mother, because any decision I`ve always made she said, you know, I told my mother she said OK, is that the decision you are comfortable with? I said yes. She was like, go for it.

CHARLIE ROSE: That is what she says to you.

LeBron James: Always, yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: If you know your heart, I`m with you.

LeBron James: Absolutely. Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: But there, if you look back at everybody there, I mean it is -- it says something special also they stayed together.

KRISTOPHER BELMAN: It`s unbelievable. And I mean - and that`s the thing. That is the question I always get, is why they are really close to this day. And it`s -- I mean, absolutely. I mean they`re probably even closer. I mean, they`re -- geographically they are further apart a lot of times and they are all so busy, like LeBron said. They are all so successful in their own rights, but when they are back in Akron, they are either at his games, LeBron goes down to the guys games to watch them play their college games or whatever. They are just as close if not closer because their lives are becoming more full and now they are part of each other`s family lives in a way, so.


KRISTOPHER BELMAN: Yes, it is unbelievable. It is just -- it`s unique, it is a unique relationship that I don`t think you see a lot of young men have, and that is one of the things that I found interesting. I thought the film could look at and hopefully break some stereotypes as far as male bonding and, you know, especially amongst athletes, it`s things you don`t see a lot of times.

CHARLIE ROSE: Right. One thing you need -- I`m sure you know and I`m not the one to tell you, but your mother told you. You need someone that will tell you the truth.

LeBron James: Absolutely.

CHARLIE ROSE: You know, and if you have people that have been with you for the whole ride, they are more likely to tell you the truth, right?

LeBron James: That`s right. That is absolutely right.

CHARLIE ROSE: So these guys are not saying he`s the meal ticket.

LeBron James: No yes men, we call them yes men, I have no yes men around me.

CHARLIE ROSE: Because they don`t.

LeBron James: No.


CHARLIE ROSE: They do you no good.

LeBron James: They do you no good.

KRISTOPHER BELMAN: They (INAUDIBLE) harder than anybody. I mean a lot of the footage we didn`t include was the guys clowning each other, he was never anything more than .

LeBron James: If I`m not doing what I need to be doing, they are on me. They let me know you need to get your stuff together.

CHARLIE ROSE: So, what did your mother say to you after the last game of the NBA finals last year?

LeBron James: Well, my mother was at the game. And she was just as upset as I was.

CHARLIE ROSE: Upset because you didn`t think you had done as well as you could or upset .

LeBron James: Upset that we had lost and our season was over. Because she wants me to -- she wants me to continue to be successful. And she knows how hard I work and she know how much time I put into it for the season to be cut short of what my expectation was, she was kind of upset about that.

CHARLIE ROSE: What is interesting about you two is you have drawn not just your classmates from Akron, but also people like Warren Buffett who likes you, admires you, and a whole range of other people. Tell me about Warren and that friendship?

LeBron James: Warren is the -- to be as successful as Warren is -- and he`s really successful, he is one of the most -- I think we get along because we`re kind of like -- we`re humbled by our success. We are not -- we don`t raise our head level above anybody with our success. The more successful we get, the more humble then we become. And I think you know, you`ve been around him and I`ve been around him a lot. He`s one of the most down to earth guys I`ve ever met. When it comes to just living the life. I mean and you wouldn`t -- from looking in you would never think, you say, OK, this guy is worth this. And he has all of this. And why does he need to be down to earth? He doesn`t have to be.

CHARLIE ROSE: You seek counsel from him more than just simply business counsel.

LeBron James: Absolutely.

CHARLIE ROSE: About living and about.

LeBron James: It`s all about knowledge. I mean, he`s been - he`s been in this world a lot longer than myself. He knows the ins and outs. His knowledge itself means more to me than a financial statement or anything. Just his knowledge of life.

CHARLIE ROSE: What do you think the potential of Basketball is internationally?

LeBron James: Huge.

CHARLIE ROSE: It`s just beginning.

LeBron James: It`s just beginning.

CHARLIE ROSE: You have the dream team and you`ve had this year.

LeBron James: Huge.

CHARLIE ROSE: And you`ve got -- in many cases the second most popular sport in the world, isn`t it?

LeBron James: Yeah, yeah. Behind soccer, yeah, absolutely. And I can remember just five years ago going to China and just recently being there a few weeks ago. The -- how the game has just broadened, and that`s just five years. It`s huge.

CHARLIE ROSE: You are the second most popular Basketball player in China.

LeBron James: Yeah, behind Yao.


CHARLIE ROSE: I mean, don`t they televise all the Houston Rockets game back to them?

LeBron James: Yes. Yes. Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: Tell me your all-star team in the NBA .

LeBron James: Current or all time?

CHARLIE ROSE: Current. Well, first current.

LeBron James: Current. My all-star team current would be Chris Paul.

CHARLIE ROSE: He`s your point guard.

LeBron James: He`s my point guard.

CHARLIE ROSE: Now, why Chris?

LeBron James: Chris Paul is, he`s a unique, he reminds me of my point guard in high school, Dru Joyce.


LeBron James: You know that he`s too small factor OK, well I`m going to use that as motivation. And now Chris is the best point guard we have in our league. I have -- see I have a split, my two guards between Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yes, that`s hard. That`s hard.

LeBron James: I don`t know which -- so we go.

CHARLIE ROSE: Can`t we make Kobe a forward maybe or?

LeBron James: Yes, why not?

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah, let`s do it.

LeBron James: Let`s do it. All right?

CHARLIE ROSE: So Dwyane Wade.

LeBron James: . and Kobe small forward.

CHARLIE ROSE: Small forward.

LeBron James: And we`ll put me at the power forward.

CHARLIE ROSE: Exactly. You`re the power forward.

LeBron James: . and we`re gong to put Shaq.

CHARLIE ROSE: You are going to put the big guy in the middle.

LeBron James: We put the big guy in the middle.

CHARLIE ROSE: We could win some games, couldn`t we?

LeBron James: With you as coach?

CHARLIE ROSE: There you go. There you go.

KRISTOPHER BELMAN: I`ll be the water boy.


CHARLIE ROSE: We got it. We got it. And who would you choose as a coach?

LeBron James: Who would I choose? So we are going to make you be -- you`re going to be the general manager.

CHARLIE ROSE: Exactly. Exactly.

LeBron James: The coach we are going to pick.

CHARLIE ROSE: I want to be the Danny Ferry or whatever.

LeBron James: Yeah.

CHARLIE ROSE: We both went to Duke, this could work.

LeBron James: That could work. That could work. And the coach, we can -- I mean with that team, I mean we can have anyone with that team.

LeBron James: Exactly.

CHARLIE ROSE: Maybe we don`t need a coach.

LeBron James: Maybe we don`t.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yes, we do. Tell me why you need a coach.

LeBron James: Because I feel like the coach sets the players up to go on and execute the game plan. You always, you have to have a captain of the ship.


LeBron James: And you know, you have to have soldiers, but you have to have the captain to make sure those guys are going in the right direction.

CHARLIE ROSE: Let`s move to all-time historical teams. OK. We clearly want Magic.

LeBron James: Oh, my all-time -- my all time historical team is see, I`m going to change the roster spots again .


LeBron James: . because I feel like, you know, these players could play any position.


LeBron James: And I take Magic Johnson at the one.

CHARLIE ROSE: I would too.

LeBron James: I would take Michael Jordan at the two.

CHARLIE ROSE: That`s not bad.

LeBron James: I will take Larry Byrd at the three.

CHARLIE ROSE: Oh, that`s good. He`s really good.

LeBron James: Unbelievable. And I would take, see, now here goes the roster spots.


LeBron James: I would take Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the four.

CHARLIE ROSE: So where is my man Bill Russell?

LeBron James: He`s at the five. There you go. There you go.

CHARLIE ROSE: There you go. That`s a team.

LeBron James: And James Naismith.

CHARLIE ROSE: James Naismith.

LeBron James: . is my coach. Yes.


LeBron James: The guy who invented the game of Basketball.

CHARLIE ROSE: Invented the game of Basketball. Now suppose that team, and you didn`t put yourself on, those are all historical.

LeBron James: No, historical.

CHARLIE ROSE: That team is playing the team that we predicted first. Who wins?

LeBron James: You know, no one will win, you know why?

CHARLIE ROSE: No, the fans win.

LeBron James: No one will win.


LeBron James: Because we would never -- if we beat that team, they would not let us get off the court, and if they beat us, we wouldn`t let them get off the court. We will play all day, all night.

CHARLIE ROSE: You got it.

You got a lot to do and I don`t want to take too much time. I want to take one look at just that segment from this film. Roll tape. This is you and your teammates talking about the brotherhood that we have talked about here. Roll tape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were winning the way we were supposed to win. We were winning by defense.

LeBron James: You know, my teammates is like my brothers. And you know, coach is like my brother. You know, we all are big fans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems like more guys are getting into the mix.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, yeah, there is a chemistry here that honestly last year we didn`t have. And then there is a commitment here to defend.

LeBron James: We won because we were together. We won because we respected coach Dru as a coach, as a mentor, as a leader. And we have one goal, and that was to win a national championship. And we wouldn`t let nothing stand in our way.


CHARLIE ROSE: I just want to show some clips and have both of them speak to it. The next clip is coach K, who I admire greatly as he knows, and LeBron admires greatly from playing for him. Roll tape. This is coach K on this show talking about LeBron`s mind after watching him play cards in Beijing. Here it is.


CHARLIE ROSE: You talk about him, LeBron, just for a moment.

KRZYZEWSKI: I love LeBron.

CHARLIE ROSE: But he`s playing cards. He`s always.

KRZYZEWSKI: His mind is always working. On the first trip we were at, I saw him playing cards. They weren`t playing for a lot of money, but he knew what everybody had, what everyone bet. And afterwards I told him, I said you have a great mathematical mind. And I`m sure no one in the world has ever told him that with his body, they say he has a great mathematical mind. He says, "I know what`s going on, coach." And I said, "well, I`m going to count on you."


CHARLIE ROSE: Where does that come from? Court sense, you know what it is, where your teammates are.

LeBron James: It just a love of the game. And that`s another thing coach Dru always said, I always paid attention to detail. I have always wanted to know not only for myself but my teammates, my opposition. I have always been in tune like that ever since I was a kid.

CHARLIE ROSE: Roll tape. This is Magic Johnson.


Magic JOHNSON: I tell you what, this LeBron James, though.


Magic JOHNSON: He has it. And he`s special.


Magic JOHNSON: And I think he`s going to win the MVP this year.

CHARLIE ROSE: Do you think he will ever play for the New York Knicks?

Magic JOHNSON: I think -- think LeBron James is definitely going to play in New York. I don`t know which team. But he is definitely going to play here.

CHARLIE ROSE: From your mouth to my ears.


CHARLIE ROSE: So just tell us not whether you are going to come to New York or not, or go somewhere else. Because you and I were on the golf course and you said to me, I`m going to play this year and then I`m going to look at all the options. I owe that to myself and my mother and people who are a part of LeBron`s team.

LeBron James: Right.

CHARLIE ROSE: How will you decide? That`s the question.

LeBron James: Well, I want to win.


LeBron James: And I have always been a winner. And I feel like Cleveland can win, also, of course. I mean, it`s no - without question I think Danny and the GMs and the ownership has been great. But at the same time, you know, as an athlete and competitor, you want to continue to be successful at the highest level. So like I said, I`m looking forward to this season. It`s going to be unbelievable, and I`m not going to be a distraction to my team about the free agency and anything like that.


LeBron James: But, you know, when that moment comes upon, I`ll be ready for it.

CHARLIE ROSE: You will be ready to make the choice when it comes.

LeBron James: Absolutely.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. But your goal is to do what Cleveland has been good to you.

LeBron James: It`s been great.

CHARLIE ROSE: Great to you. You like Ohio.

LeBron James: Love it.

CHARLIE ROSE: Gloria James loves Ohio.

LeBron James: Right.

CHARLIE ROSE: She`s even said.

LeBron James: She said more than that too, but that is all they put out there.

CHARLIE ROSE: What else did she say?

LeBron James: I don`t know.

CHARLIE ROSE: So anybody who tries to get to you to say where you are going to go, you can`t say because you don`t know.

LeBron James: No, I`m very happy in Cleveland right now.

CHARLIE ROSE: Even happy that Shaq`s coming?

LeBron James: Absolutely.

CHARLIE ROSE: All right. Take a look at this, and then I want you to explain this, and we will leave you. Roll tape, one last thing from my friends over at "60 Minutes," here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you anyplace even remotely close to your peak?

LeBron James: I don`t want to say I got a long way to go. I don`t think I got a long way to go. But it`s going to take -- it`s going to take a little process.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, yeah, we`re going to sit down. Are you going to do anything with this?

LeBron James: Who, me? I`m not.

You got it.

UNIDENTIIFED MALE: How many times could you do that in a row?

LeBron James: On one take, baby, that`s all. I`m just one take.


CHARLIE ROSE: Of all the shots you`ve made.

LeBron James: Let that be known that wasn`t no -- digitized.

CHARLIE ROSE: There was no editing in that film.

LeBron James: Ask Steve .


LeBron James: You can ask Steve.

CHARLIE ROSE: Steve Kroft will be here to testify as it happens.

LeBron James: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely.

CHARLIE ROSE: So luck or skill?

LeBron James: Skill.


KRISTOPHER BELMAN: He did that in practice all the time back in high school. That was like all the time back then.

CHARLIE ROSE: It`s like Roger Federer between the legs.

LeBron James: Here you go.

CHARLIE ROSE: Did you see that?

LeBron James: There you go, there you go. That was awesome.

CHARLIE ROSE: "Shooting Stars," LeBron James, and Buzz Bissinger, author of "Friday Night Lights" and other very good books, is a companion book or is a book also about -- about this remarkable story of finding an opportunity and using that opportunity with friends and through the good guidance of a remarkable mother to achieve something very special. The interesting thing is that the journey continues and we`ll see how it -- now what happens. The movie will be at your local theaters soon, I guess.

KRISTOPHER BELMAN: Yeah, October 2nd.

CHARLIE ROSE: October 2nd. Thank you.

KRISTOPHER BELMAN: Thank you for having us.

CHARLIE ROSE: Great to see you again.

LeBron James: Thanks a lot. A pleasure.

CHARLIE ROSE: We continue this evening with Chris Paul in an interview that I did before the conversation with LeBron James and Kristopher Belman. Here is the introduction and the conversation with Chris Paul.




CHARLIE ROSE: Chris Paul is here. growing up in rural North Carolina, he had the common dream of one day reaching the NBA . In his sophomore year in high school being less than five feet tall, left little hope that he would even make the varsity team. Today he is widely considered to be the best point guard in the NBA . In 2008, he was runner- up to Kobe Bryant as the league`s MVP. He writes about his improbable journey in "Long Shot: Never Too Small to Dream Big." I am pleased to have Chris Paul at this show for the first time. Welcome.

Chris Paul: Yes, sir, thanks for having me.

CHARLIE ROSE: Now, what town are you from in North Carolina?

Chris Paul: Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

CHARLIE ROSE: Oh, so, that`s a big place. I come from a little place.

Chris Paul: And Louisville, I come from Louisville.

CHARLIE ROSE: OK. Louisville.

Chris Paul: Yeah, but every knows Winston-Salem.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yes. You get home much?

Chris Paul: Yeah. During the summer. As soon as the season is over, I`m back, but never during the season.

CHARLIE ROSE: Both parents alive?

Chris Paul: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: Man, they must love having -- having the opportunity to say in the neighborhood, that`s our guy.

Chris Paul: My parents are huge sports fanatics and they are my biggest fans and I love them to death.

CHARLIE ROSE: How many brothers and sisters?

Chris Paul: One older brother.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah, and he works with you as a kind of business.

Chris Paul: Yes, yes sir.

CHARLIE ROSE: Business associate. So, tell me first about what you want us to understand about long shot.

Chris Paul: Yes, the name of the book is "Long Shot: Never Too Small to Dream Big." And it is about spreading my story to kids. Kids are truly my passion. And what better way than to write a book about the challenges that I faced growing up.

CHARLIE ROSE: How many people said you would never make it?

Chris Paul: Oh, man, if I had a dollar I -- I would be -- I would be rich. But it is so funny because those same people are some of my best friends today. You know, and I use that as motivation. Growing up my older brother was always, you can`t come. You`re too small. His friends told me that I was too small. I was the Carolina fan growing up. I know you are a Dukie.

CHARLIE ROSE: No, I was Carolina fan.

Chris Paul: Oh, you`re a Carolina fan.

CHARLIE ROSE: Absolutely. Everybody, if you weren`t a Carolina fan, then you were.

Chris Paul: Exactly, exactly. So I always said I wanted to go to Carolina. And one of his friends, Mike Russi (ph) used to always tell me, you are too small. You`ll never be able to go. So to one day have a scholarship offer from Carolina, it was so fulfilling. And I remember I told Mike, I said listen, I`m going to Wake Forest, but I could have went to Carolina if I wanted to.

CHARLIE ROSE: And why didn`t you go to Carolina?

Chris Paul: Wake was just, it was a better fit for me Basketball- wise. It was closer to home. And it`s a great academic school.

CHARLIE ROSE: Tell me how you did it, though. Most of us look at great odds and have great dreams. And some of us achieve those dreams, surprisingly.

Chris Paul: Right.

CHARLIE ROSE: My answer is always just hard work. You work harder than everybody else. And that seems to be the answer for most people.

Chris Paul: Right.

CHARLIE ROSE: What was it for you?

Chris Paul: For me it was a combination of the hard work, but at the same time, I was disciplined. Very disciplined. And my parents.

CHARLIE ROSE: Purposeful work.

Chris Paul: Yes, discipline. And my parents were very instrumental in that. And I`m very fortunate to have a mother and a father who have always been there for me in everything that I do. And it was, you know, I think it`s what a 2.0 grade point average to be eligible for.


Chris Paul: . athletic sports.


Chris Paul: For me it was 3.0.


Chris Paul: It wasn`t about.


Chris Paul: It wasn`t about what the school said, it was about what my parent said. So we`ve always set the bar higher than average. And I just always have been determined, and like I said, disciplined.

CHARLIE ROSE: Did you believe after your high school, after your college career that you would be, you know, a leading point guard in the NBA ?

Chris Paul: I hoped. I dreamed, you know. When I was in high school, my freshman and sophomore year in high school, I played JV Basketball.


Chris Paul: You know, everyone always plays varsity. I was on the JV. So going to Wake, didn`t know what to expect. Didn`t know how I was going to start. The starting point guard had an appendectomy before our first game. And had that not happened, I may not have started my first game in college. So everything happens for a reason. And you know, I thank god that I have been blessed with this wonderful opportunity to play a game that I love.

CHARLIE ROSE: I think Michael Jordan didn`t make the varsity in his freshman year in high school.

Chris Paul: Yeah. Right, he got cut.

CHARLIE ROSE: He got cut.

Chris Paul: He got cut. He got cut. So he had to play JV.

CHARLIE ROSE: So, what does that say, you mean you physically hadn`t come of age or what?

Chris Paul: You know, it is funny. Because my brother is two years older than me. So he was on the varsity team. And I remember my sophomore year, I was like, man I want to play varsity, I want to play varsity. And the high school -- and the varsity coach said that he could put me on varsity, but I wouldn`t get in the game. So I was like no, no, no. I would rather play JV and get to practice. We went undefeated.

CHARLIE ROSE: What is the difference in your game today when you entered the NBA ?

Chris Paul: Oh, man, when I see pictures from me, my rookie year, I really look like a little boy, like a little lost boy. So I have definitely matured, you know, physically, but more so mentally.

CHARLIE ROSE: But help us understand what it takes to be in the NBA and how different the NBA is than college ball?

Chris Paul: It`s very different. And when you are in college, you go to classes. The coaches are telling you what to do and different things like that. When you get to the NBA , it is a bunch of grown men. So you know, you come to practice and different things like that. But you know, they`re not going to hold your hand. You have to do it yourself and I think that`s what separates the greats from just the guys that are in the NBA . The guys that are the elite -- the elite, they work hard day in and day out and they never -- they never take that break.

CHARLIE ROSE: And how about shooting?

Chris Paul: Shooting, that is very, very key. And you know, with me being small all the time, I was usually a shooting guard on my teams. And then I just worked on my ball handling and tried to combine it all. But if you can shoot the Basketball, there`s always a spot on you -- a spot on the team for you, I guarantee you that.

CHARLIE ROSE: If you can put it in.

Chris Paul: If you can put it in that hole, there is a spot on that team for you.

CHARLIE ROSE: Who do you admire most, who are your.

Chris Paul: The people that I admire most are my parents.

CHARLIE ROSE: Certainly.

Chris Paul: My parents.

CHARLIE ROSE: They gave you what?

Chris Paul: Oh my goodness, everything, everything. They gave me life. They gave me this opportunity. I mean my dad, when me and my brother we were growing up, he spent his entire 401(k) on me and my brother playing AAU Basketball and different things like that. So they -- they not only gave us that, but they just gave us that love and support that not everybody has.

CHARLIE ROSE: But you, when you went from college -- you played two seasons, correct?

Chris Paul: Right.

CHARLIE ROSE: And you were - you were NBA rookie of the year?

Chris Paul: Yes, sir.

CHARLIE ROSE: I mean, so that was unexpected.

Chris Paul: Right.

CHARLIE ROSE: Nobody, when you went to the NBA said Chris is going to be the NBA freshman rookie of the year.

Chris Paul: No, no.

CHARLIE ROSE: So how is that? I mean, why is it you constantly surprised people?

Chris Paul: It may be my work ethic. And it`s all about situations too. I was blessed to go into a great situation. When I got drafted to the Hornets, there wasn`t a point guard, so I was thrown into the fire.


Chris Paul: I had an opportunity to learn and play at the same time. You know, whereas a lot of guys -- they come into situations and you learn from the bench, you know. So there is a guy in front of you and the coach is like you watch him, and then you learn. I got a chance to make mistakes and learn at the same time.

CHARLIE ROSE: So what -- what`s the possibility of getting you and LeBron to come to New York to play?


Chris Paul: Well, I don`t know. I know. I know.

CHARLIE ROSE: We`re having dinner with him tonight. Would you find out for us?

Chris Paul: I will see -- his contract is up before mine. So.

CHARLIE ROSE: I know. His is up at the end of the year.

Chris Paul: Yes, yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: And he clearly is going to look at the options.

Chris Paul: I`m sure, I`m sure.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah, I mean he said that to me. He is going to look at the options.

Chris Paul: Yes, exactly. So.

CHARLIE ROSE: But his parents, his mother thinks he will stay in Cleveland. He wants to be close to home.

Chris Paul: It`s definitely possible. I could understand that, you know. And that was part of me with going to college.


Author: Fox Sports
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Added: September 28, 2009


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