Style Points: Overnight Celebrities, Unreleased Kicks & Perfect Homecomings

  • LeBron James
    LeBron James

    Was there any question we’d lead this week’s Style Points with LeBron’s homecoming to Cleveland? After completely botching The Decision during the summer of 2010 and alienating himself not only from his own home state but from basketball fans across the globe, James did just about everything right this summer.

    Sure, he held up all other basketball business for over a week while he had team brasses meet him in Las Vegas and South Beach. But this was a big decision, precisely because of its nature. Do you stay with Miami, a team with a proven track record for winning… despite the roster quickly turning stale and old? Or do you go home to Ohio for a team with a proven track record of losing… despite suddenly having one of the league’s most impressive collections of young talent?

    In the end, James made the right choice and he did it in the right way — with a heartfelt letter to Sports Illustrated.

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  • Anthony Bennett

    LeBron’s future teammate says he’s lost 20 pounds since the end of last season, and even hired a personal chef. That’s a great start to the summer for last year’s No. 1 overall pick. Amazingly, in just one year, Bennett went from a super talented lottery pick with huge expectations to a guy everyone’s forgotten about. If he wants to actually gets minutes beside LeBron James this year in Cleveland, he’ll have to continue to show off his improved jumper, and attack the rim like he has a vendetta against it.

    The tweener forward is doing both throughout summer league, and he has a new mindset to boot. It’s a story with tremendous potential, considering last season saw him shoot below 36 percent from the floor and average 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, one of the worst seasons for a No. 1 pick in league history.

    At worst, he’s nice trade bait for Kevin Love. At best, he steps up as a playoff contributor this year for the Cavs.

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  • Mario Götze
    Mario Götze

    Mario Götze better live it up this summer because it’s almost impossible for his life to get any better.

    At just 22 years old, he came in as a sub for Germany’s Miroslav Klose during the 2014 World Cup Final against Lionel Messi and Argentina, and then scored the World Cup-winning goal. Want to know how good he has it right now? His coach Joachim Löw told the midfielder to prove he was better than Messi when he inserted him into the game. Then later, after Götze scored the game’s only goal, the same coach called the boy wonder a “miracle boy.”

    That entire scenario — bench player comes in during the biggest game of his young life and wins it all for his country — is so cliche you wouldn’t even think it’s real. But wait… that’s not even all of it.

    During the aftermath, Mario got to chill with Rihanna. One goal and now he’s a worldwide phenomenon.

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  • Wale

    Wale is a solid athlete — at least in terms of rappers and entertainers — and is considered a better-than-average artist. But where he really shines is sneakers. The dude is consistently unleashing rare heat before it gets released to the public. Earlier this summer, the rapper posted a photo to Instagram where he’s rocking a pair of the upcoming Nike LeBron 12.

    Outside of ‘Bron ‘Bron himself, we haven’t seen these anywhere else. We don’t even have a release date for them yet. But that has never stopped Wale.

    Flaunting on Instagram in not-yet-released LeBrons gets you unlimited style points.

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  • Chad Johnson

    Chad Johnson is back! Sort of. The wide receiver hasn’t been relevant in the NFL for years now, but in case you missed it (and you probably did), Ochocinco is playing for the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes this year. Earlier this month, upon scoring his first touchdown with the team on a 46-yard bomb, Johnson did what he does best. He celebrated.

    A bear hug for a referee might be a first for the man who took TD dances to a whole new level, but it certainly lives up to his reputation. You have to respect a guy who can fall so far from grace and yet still be himself, with the willingness to entertain, no matter the costs. Johnson’s skills have predictably eroded over the years, but his style is still as flashy as ever.

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  • LeBron James
  • Anthony Bennett
  • Mario Götze
  • Wale
  • Chad Johnson

It’s not always about what you do but how you do it. That’s true in all aspects of life, but doubly so when you’re talking about sports and entertainment. Was 2Pac one of the greatest rappers ever because he sold boatloads of records worldwide? No. He was a global icon for what he stood for, for his passion, for everything and everyone he represented.

Each week in Style Points, we’ll count down recent people who took their game and their swagger to another level. Whether it was dropping weight and turning a new page, becoming a Germany legend or pulling off the biggest homecoming in sports history, these five went above and beyond.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney