David Stern would be hard pressed to receive better advertising for the NBA Read to Achieve program.
LeBron James's most famous pregame ritual over the course of his career has been his signature talcum powder throw, but that got pushed aside Sunday as he quietly sat in front of his locker, minutes before the Heat-Pacers game on Sunday, with zen-like focus as he read from "The Hunger Games."
James then teamed up with Dwyane Wade to torch Indiana as the regular season MVP finished with a stunning stat line of 40 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists.
You'd be hard pressed to criticize LeBron if pre-game reading turns into a new obsessive compulsive disorder.
"The Hunger Games," written by Suzanne Collins in 2008, is a futuristic novel that follows a fictional 16-year-old girl's journey through the wreckage of what was called North America following the end of civilization as we know it. The book was such a hit, Hollywood turned it into a major motion picture.
Incidentally, "The Hunger Games" film has generated over $391 million in domestic box office since its March 23, 2012 release date.
LeBron's new book habit is tame compared to more famous bizarre rituals sports heroes have performed over the years.
Michael Jordan always sported powder blue North Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform.
Hall of Fame baseball star Wade Boggs had to chow down on chicken before every game.
LeBron James can certainly bury himself in a good book as long as that translates to Heat wins.
-- Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.
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