T.J. Warren Can’t Stop Reading - SolidRumor.com

T.J. Warren Can’t Stop Reading

 T.J. Warren Can’t Stop Reading

T.J. Warren is best known for three things: 1) his immediate transformation into a thousand-degree heat rock during the opening week of the NBA’s restart, ignited by a 53-point blitz against the Philadelphia 76ers. 2) assuming the role of Jimmy Butler’s archenemy. And 3) being understated enough to not be known for anything else—his expressionless face is a shut door.

But, like any human being, Warren has more layers than meet the eye. One is his relationship with books, which the 26-year-old has tweeted about on multiple occasions: “Reading keeps the mind sharp. You undefeated with knowledge,” read one June tweet. During a recent conversation about Soul on Ice, the provocative manifesto/memoir written by Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver while incarcerated at Folsom State Prison in 1965, the Indiana Pacers forward couldn’t help but relate the current moment to the world Cleaver described. As Cleaver wrote: “Yet he is being told that it will take time to get programs started, to pass legislation, to educate white people into accepting the idea that black people want and deserve freedom.”

The essay collection broadened Warren’s perspective, knowing that battle lines drawn well over half a century ago remain where they used to be. “It’s like the current events of today. Nothing’s changed, it’s just really evolved to this, and people are still going through the same things. It’s crazy,” Warren said. “That’s one of those books where when you’re reading it you can kind of get lost in his story and his experiences. He has a great mind, really elaborates on politics in America, his experiences being a Black Panther, dealing with the racial struggles of Black men.”

Warren cracked Soul on Ice open when he first got to the bubble. It was a gift from David West—the former All-Star and Warren’s self-described mentor—and is one of several books the six-year veteran returns to time and time again. Before he was drafted, Warren wasn’t much of a reader, but since he entered the league it’s been his quiet passion. He spends a couple hours every other day with his nose in a book, and always has a couple jostling around in his travel bag.

The information inside carries Warren through a lifestyle that’s far more idle than most realize. Even before the ever monotonous bubble, the days of an NBA player are filled with the colorless downtime of cavernous arenas, chartered flights, and hotel rooms. “I was thinking, I’ve gotta find a way to stimulate my mind when I’m not playing basketball and reading things that interest me,” he said. “Sometimes you can get mixed up with some of the information you’re getting through social media or television, but if you actually like reading and getting it from the source, you can comprehend it better.”

Warren isn’t the only player who likes to lose himself in a book. Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris is frequently seen with one in hand. Damian Lillard reads constantly. LeBron James recently spoke about The Autobiography of Malcolm X and has turned to Mario Puzo’s The Godfather during earlier postseasons. Robert Covington brought a few books down to the bubble, and Kobe Bryant’s obsession with Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist spread to other players, including Kyrie Irving and Andre Iguodala.

Warren wants others to love reading as much as he does. Through his foundation a couple years ago, Warren donated over 500 books to the Research Triangle Charter Academy, a school he attended from grade 3 to 5. “I just wanted to tell them you can learn through reading books and give them a different look from what they see on television and social media,” he said.

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