James wasn't particularly impressed, since he didn't know at the time the importance of being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. "I just thought it was just another sports magazine. They want a sports figure, a guy that can play basketball on the cover. I didn't know how big Sports Illustrated was."
"Do you know, what 60 Minutes is?" Kroft asked.
"Yeah," James replied, laughing. "It's a hour, right?"
Just a few months after being selected the most likely to succeed in his high school class, he signed a multi-million dollar NBA contract with the last place Cavaliers and a seven year, $90 million endorsement deal with Nike - the most ever paid to a basketball player. Another lucrative contract with Coca Cola laid the foundation for what James hopes will become a billion-dollar business empire. And it didn't take the enterprise long to begin paying dividends.
Three years after joining the lowly Cavaliers, he led them to the finals of the NBA Championship with one of the greatest clutch performances in history. He single handedly scored his team's last 25 points in a double overtime victory against Detroit.
"The game was so magical. I mean, I still watch it to this day," James told Kroft.
"You didn't feel nervous taking those shots?" Kroft asked.
"No. You can't be afraid to fail. It's the only way you succeed - you're not gonna succeed all the time, and I know that. You have to be able to accept failure to get better," he replied.
Three years ago, James took one of his biggest risks ever. Deciding he wanted to control his own image, not just appear in other people's commercials, he stunned the sports world by firing his agent and starting his own company to handle his outside business interests with some of his childhood buddies from Akron.
Asked why he fired his agent and hired his friends, James told Kroft, "I just felt like in order for me to grow as the person that I wanted to become, as the leader, as the businessman, I had to, you know, make a change. Make something that I think could benefit myself and benefit the guys that was around me."