The 2022 All-Star Weekend made for a special moment for Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, who was named by the NBA as one of the league’s 75 all-time greatest players.
Moreover, the event took place in Cleveland, OH, where the four-time NBA champion started his career 19 years ago. It’s also located just a short drive from Akron, where the forward was born.
Among the highlights of the weekend, James had a chance to catch up with his idol, Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan. Altogether, the Lakers star said it was an “honor” to join the game’s legends in celebrating NBA history around his old stomping ground.
“I am just honored and humbled by the simple fact that I am one of the top 75 players to ever play the game of basketball. Being voted in, and the fact that it’s happening 35 miles north of my hometown makes it even more special,” he said.
“I grew up 35-40 minutes drive ride from Cleveland in Akron, obviously. For me to be standing up there with the 75 greatest and obviously, we have some of ours 75 passed away and things of that nature, but they would still get recognized because of what they were able to accomplish while they played the game of basketball and so many standards that they set.
“To be up there with the greatest of all time, it’s an honor to do that and just be with family and my friends will be there. It’s pretty cool.”
James didn’t avoid controversy during the All-Star break, casting doubt on his future with L.A. by saying he could one day reunite with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rumors also claimed that tensions arose between the forward and his agency, Klutch Sports, and the Lakers — but Klutch founder Rich Paul denied it was the case.
James takes responsibility of being NBA Ambassador seriously
During his illustrious career, James has joined the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant among those perceived as the “faces” of the NBA. And the Lakers forward said he embraces the responsibility that comes with the role.
“Somebody did it before me and put it in a position where it was my responsibility to make sure I kept it where it was and also make it even more grand and make it better than what it was and represent this league with the utmost respect,” James said. I’m seeing my brother Carmelo walk down the hall right there.
“But just not only play the game the right way, but also mean something off the floor as well because there are so many generations that look for inspiration. It’s always pretty cool to see the guys that come into our league and they say their favorite player growing up was LeBron James.”
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