“Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m definitely honored”: LeBron James comments on Nike unveiling new LeBron James Innovation Center For Research at Nike Headquarters

Nike recently revealed its latest LeBron James Innovation Center, which also contains the new Nike Sport Research Lab (NSRL).

LeBron James was part of the Nike family from early, signing a $90 million endorsement deal as an 18-year-old. Now, Nike and The King are associated for eternity: LeBron James signed a lifetime deal with them in 2015.

Now, he joins the exclusive club with Michael Jordan and Serena Williams, who also have their own buildings at the company’s headquarters.

Matt Nurse, Nike VP, recalls the first time LeBron toured the facility and quotes –

“He came in, he referred to it as his sanctuary. And we would like this place to be a sanctuary for athletes of all skills and all abilities. All backgrounds and all body shapes.”

Nurse further goes on to describe the facility as a place of –

Encouraging interaction between its scientists and designers, forcing cross-group teamwork.”

“There is no separation of church and state. There is a direct line of sight between him and the concept creation centers where shoes and apparel are built.”

The 750,000-square-foot building looks somewhat similar to a spaceship and looks like something out of a Star Wars movie.

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Inside the LeBron James Innovation Center.

Just as LeBron James pays tribute to his upbringing in Akron, Ohio, Nike’s newest building is a reminder of the history of how it was built. At the front of the building is a bold arch that welcomes all visitors.

The center also comes with a full-size basketball court, a 200-yard lane, and an artificial turf field.

But what really sets this room apart from any other sports research lab is the world’s largest motion capture facility (over 400 cameras) and 97 force plates. These force plates are so sensitive that they can record a person’s heartbeat simply by standing on them. Right outside the main entrance, the architect designed a 15.63% inclined ramp that spans more than 500 feet.

When asked what it meant to have Nike’s Innovation Center named after him, LeBron said –

Over the course of my career and my time here at Nike, for all of this to come together is surreal. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m definitely honored.”

“Having my name on the Innovation building feels very fitting because I’m always trying to figure out ways I can continue to innovate and continue to break the timeline of what they say is your prime.”

The center will be a site where prototypes are designed, made and tested and most of all, where ideas are solidified and turned into reality.

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