"I’m going to do a little bit of everything," James quipped back. "That’s my job description. It says, 'LeBron James: Do Everything, Akron, St. Vincent-St. Mary.' It hasn’t changed."
Few imagined that "everything" would also include custodial duties in the Cavs' locker room.
Yet that's exactly the scene that Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon witnessed Saturday after Cleveland's preseason game against Philadelphia:
The three-time champion, four-time MVP took not just his own laundry bag to the locker room attendants, but picked up off the floor an additional five or six laundry sacks that were strewn about The Q locker room by teammates who had left.
"Hopefully I only have to say something once," James said, promising to address the laundry littering with the Cavs. "Can't leave the locker room like that."
This isn't the first time James' neat-freak quirks have been documented. Lee Jenkins captured a similar circumstance in a story for Sports Illustrated last season:
On Nov. 17, James missed a shootaround before a game against the Nuggets because he was sick, and the Cavaliers acted as if their teacher ditched school. They tossed dirty gear onto the locker room floor, ignoring the hamper in the middle of the room. Equipment manager Mark Cashman took a picture of the slop and after practice the next day showed it to the group. “I’ve worked here 15 years,” Cashman says, “and that was the maddest I’ve ever been.”
After Cashman tore into the team, James provided a graphic exclamation point. Cashman was transported to 2003, when James was a rookie and Cleveland played the second night of a preseason back-to-back in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The Cavs landed in St. John’s at 5 a.m. and were scheduled to face the Raptors in front of a sellout crowd that night. But shortly before tipoff at an arena that housed a minor league hockey team, officials noticed condensation from the ice on the court. The game was canceled, the Cavs were sent to their bus, and irritated players flung jerseys and shorts in Cashman’s direction. James handed him a neatly folded uniform. “I didn’t have a lot growing up,” he explained to Cashman then. “I have to take care of it.”
James' agent, Rich Paul, shared another organization-oriented tale about James with ESPN.com during the 2015 Finals:
"For LeBron, someone who, when he gets home from a long road trip, he can't go to bed until all his clothes is out of his suitcase, neatly hung up, folded, et cetera; he can't go to sleep."
There's no denying James is particular about the way things should be done. Yet he's not a stickler all the time when it comes to cleanliness. Just a couple weeks ago during NBA TV's "Real Training Camp," filmed at the Cavs' practice facility in Independence, Ohio, James was broadcast finishing off a sports drink and throwing the empty plastic bottle across the gym toward a trash can. It missed.