Just because you admire someone for their work, does that mean you’re willing to adopt their religion as your own? Some might believe that could be the case with LeBron James.
CLEVELAND.COM’s STARTING BLOCKS notes that for Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people, the magazine asked the Cavaliers star which person he would like to see added to the list. And of all the men & women he could think of, LeBron answered Jay L. Schottenstein.
Mr. Schottenstein is a Jewish businessman & philanthropist from Ohio who’s big claim to fame is funding a translation of the Talmud into English, Hebrew & French. As a result, “The Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud is now utilized by more than 2 million people worldwide.”
So, does this mean James want to become Jewish? After all, LeBron could have anointed anyone for Time’s 100, and he chose Jay.
The JEWISH DAILY FORWARD tries to explain the connection:
The Shmooze was unable to reach James for comment, and a rep for Schottenstein responded via e-mail, simply stating that James and Schottenstein have “mutual respect for each other” and that James was “impressed with the community involvement shown by Jay, including the elucidation and translation of the 73 volume Talmud Bavli.”
It’s probably not likely that LeBron is ready to convert. At least not now, since he does have playoff preparations to worry about. Still, it’s interesting to wonder what changes would happen if King James joined the chosen people.
The Cavs’ in-game dances would exclusively feature the Horah. And concessions at Quicken Loans Arena would start serving Manischewitz wine. And instead of “Charge!”, the jumbotron would encourage fans to shout “L’Chaim!”
And it wouldn’t be so strange to have Jewish stars in the NBA. Joe Paterno would certainly appreciate it.