Power Players

What impressed Warren Buffett when he first met LeBron James—and it wasn't his basketball skills

David Liam Kyle | Getty

LeBron James is a legend on the basketball court, but when billionaire investor Warren Buffett first met James, the NBA star's athletic prowess wasn't the only thing that impressed him.

The two met over a decade ago while filming a skit for Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting, Buffett writes in an article honoring James's spot as one of Time's 100 Most Influential People of 2019. In the video, Buffet beats James at basketball, "so it was clearly a comedy," Buffett says in Time.

"We had a good time, and since that day, I've been impressed with his leadership skills, his sharp mind and his ability to stay grounded," Buffet writes.

"People in LeBron's position get tugged in different directions and have a lot of chances to make bad decisions. He's kept his head, and that's not easy."

It's not the first time Buffett has complimented his friend. He told USA Today that James has a "money mind" and praised his business savvy to Cleveland.com.

"He's smart about business, but he's just a smart guy," Buffett said. "I noticed that the first time I met him... And you know he doesn't miss anything."

And the feeling is mutual. In 2014, James instagrammed a photo of Warren and himself at a Cavaliers game with the caption, "Always good having u in town and seeing u Uncle Warren!"

Over the years, a friendship has blossomed between Buffett and James.

"It's unique. Very unique," James told Cleveland.com about the relationship. "Our relationship continues to grow and grow and grow."

Buffet writes in Time that James has also earned the admiration he gets from his millions of young fans, not only as a Laker, but because of his achievements in Hollywood, in the media and by founding Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

"As great as he has been so far — on and off the court — you're just seeing the start of LeBron," Buffet writes.

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