Miami Heat star LeBron James has had quite a year, winning the NBA championship and becoming engaged to longtime love Savannah Brinson. In a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey, James opened up about both.
Trying to win on the basketball court can be nerve-wracking, but for LeBron James, popping the question to his lady at a New Year’s Eve party in South Beach was even more stressful. On “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” James revealed, “I was nervous…It felt like before a finals game.”
James continued, “I knew all my teammates and my friends and family was going to be there, and I thought I was ready to make the next step in my commitment with Savannah.”
It does seem like the gentlemanly thing to do, since the two are already the parents of two kids, seven-year-old LeBron Jr. and five-year-old Bryce.
James enlisted teammate Dwayne Wade for moral support during the proposal—and for holding the ring. James told Winfrey, “I asked him for it right after the ball dropped. He was like, ‘You ready?’ I was like, ‘If you don’t give me this ring right now, I ain’t gonna do it.’”
The happiness of his engagement and NBA victory should make up for some of the hurt James felt over the criticism he suffered after leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat back in 2010. James came to regret announcing his decision to change teams in the middle of an ESPN special some criticized as “tasteless.” James told Winfrey that the letter Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wrote calling him “our former hero” and blasting his “cowardly betrayal” was “hurtful.”
“It was hurtful because I know how much I put into that organization, and every night I’m out on the floor I tried to give it my all and I tried to bring a championship to that city every single night. But, at the same time, I understood that everyone has their opinion. Everybody has a right to say what they want to say and there’s nothing I can do about that.”
Part one of Winfrey’s interview with James and his fellow Heat stars Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade will air on the Oprah Winfrey Network this Sunday, July 1, at 8 p.m., with part two coming July 8 at 8 p.m. EDT.