Larry King conducted a bevy of interviews during his illustrious career, none bigger than his 2010 sit-down with LeBron James. The NBA superstar was an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career and took time out of his busy schedule to chat with King.
James and King touched on several topics. LeBron was very comfortable with the CNN legend and opened up about many things.
LeBron James told Larry King he was a Chicago Bulls fan growing up
LeBron James grew up in Akron, Ohio, and started his NBA career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, he told Larry King he was a Chicago Bulls fan growing up because of Michael Jordan.
“I was a Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan fan growing up,” James told King back in 2010. “I was just, wow, I mean Michael Jordan was just my inspiration. The things he was able to do out on the basketball court, I love. Everybody wanted to fly like Jordan and pull up and hit a game-winner at the sound of the horn like Michael. Everything he did, I wanted to do.”
James wears No. 23 because of Jordan. The King wasn’t able to wear No. 23 during his four years on the Miami Heat since the franchise retired the number out of respect for Jordan’s contributions to the NBA. LeBron wore No. 6 with the Heat.
Michael Jordan is universally recognized as the greatest basketball player of all time. However, LeBron James is at the same dinner table as MJ. The former No. 1 overall pick has won four titles, four Finals MVPs, and four regular-season MVPs. LeBron is also the only player in NBA history to rank top-10 all-time in points and assists.
LeBron James revealed to Larry King when he knew he wanted to play in the NBA
Larry King asked LeBron James when The Chosen One knew he wanted to play in the NBA. The All-Star small forward told King he started to love basketball during his middle school days.
“When did I know? I think I started to get a love for the game around the middle school days,” LeBron shared with King. “We would go on AAU tournaments, me and my best friends, and it was fun. The competitive nature of the game, winning and losing, and dominating one team. It just kind of gravitated towards me.”
LeBron had a tremendous high school career at St. Vincent-St. Mary. He wound up getting drafted by the Cavs with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft thanks to his stellar high school tape.
As most people know, LeBron James grew up with a single mother in Akron. James’ dad left the house when he was a kid, and LeBron has never met his father. That was the one serious subject James and Larry King talked about in 2010.
NBA star never cared about meeting his dad
LeBron James informed Larry King that he never had any interest in meeting his dad and didn’t ask his mom why his father wasn’t around. LeBron, who has three kids, has done everything opposite of his dad.
“She (LeBron’s mom) was doing everything that I could ever dream of,” James told King about his mom. “It was times where Christmas would come around and my birthday would come around, and I’d think I may have one or two presents or I may not get anything because I understand the struggle, and it’ll be a floor full of stuff. There was no reason for me to even ask, ‘mom, where is my father’ because she was doing it all.”
Larry King tragically passed away at the age of 87 on Jan. 23, 2020. He will be sorely missed but never forgotten.