Eighteen minutes of camera flashing this morning at the downtown Washington, D.C. Ritz Carlton hotel, and the experience that is LeBron James was done breezing through our USA WEEKEND photo shoot. Our Design Director Leon Lawrence tells us that James was light on conversation (he’s not a morning person, according to his handlers), and all business when he showed up at 9:30, a half an hour behind schedule, but it took him less than a minute to flash that famous smile and set the room abuzz with energy.
Wearing a body conforming steel blue shirt, and grey slacks, James was gearing up for a long day of Q & A’s, press conferences, and rabid fans while promoting his upcoming documentary More Than A Game being released by LionsGate. James walked in, shook a few hands and was ready to go to work. Photographer David Yellen gave him a run down of the props — a number of basketballs of various sizes including some so small that his giant hands could completely engulf them — and the kind of emotion we were looking for, and we were off. (That's the two of them at work in the photo.) A power overload darkened the conference room where we were shooting for a couple of frantic minutes but we were able to restore it and finish up in a flurry. James graciously signed a few balls and then swept from the room for what promised to be a very busy day.
Photo by David Baratz for USA WEEKEND