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February 16, 2019

LeBron James

Charlotte, North Carolina

Q. How does it feel giving back?
LeBRON JAMES: To be able to be in a position where I can have my own school, it's not about me. It's about the kids in there. It's never been about me. I'm just a platform, and I'm the voice and the guy that can be able to put it together. But it's so much deeper than me. It's not only the kids that are in this school, but it's also the faculty members and the teachers, the security guards, everybody that is inside there. The chefs, the head chefs, the custodians -- everybody that has anything to do with making sure the IPS School runs on a day-to-day basis and runs smoothly for my kids to be able to succeed.

It's an honor, and I take it very seriously. I check up on my kids weekly to see how they're doing. It's been great so far, and we want to continue that.

Q. What did it mean for you to get a call from Kyrie?
LeBRON JAMES: I've always loved Kyrie, from before I met him to when I became his teammate to even now. I've always thought he was special. There's a reason why there are only 24 of us here this weekend. He's here for a reason.

The phone call -- more than for me, I think just to see his growth. It takes a real man and a real person to understand who they are to be able to call or to do anything and be able to see their wrongdoings or believe they have some wrongdoings and then be able to come to grips with that and be able to either apologize or say that, "At that point in time, I thought I was ready for something, but I really wasn't."

I really don't want to talk about it too much because it's not for everybody. It's not for the media to be able to start writing things, and how you guys like to do it. I'm not saying you in particular, or you, Dave. I know you guys, but I don't know everybody here.

I love Kyrie. I love everything about Kyrie. I've loved his family. I definitely love his shoes and his game, and my kids love his shoes and his game too. So it's all good.

Q. What has changed for you in the last year since "shut up and dribble"?
LeBRON JAMES: I think everything in life you have to appreciate, no matter if it's good or bad. Like you said, it's been one year since the call-out of "shut up and dribble." At that very moment, I knew at that moment that I was bigger than just basketball and I had to say something because it wasn't just about me, it was about all of us. They'll be telling you guys to shut up and just write, you guys not having a platform. Or just shut up and be a doctor. Or just shut up and be a lawyer. Or just shut up and a teacher. Or do whatever your occupation is.

I just think that's unfair to all of us because we are so much more than what our occupations say or what our name tag says. So for me to be able to have this platform, as I did one year ago, and for me to be able to have that feeling throughout my body when I heard that, I think it has not only resonated with me, but it's resonated with a lot of people to be able to feel like they can be more.

Like I said, I thanked her for that moment, and we all should thank her. But like I said, you have to appreciate anything that comes along no matter if it's good or bad because it helps you learn. It helps you become better at who you are. It helps you get more understanding about who you are and a better understanding of that situation at that point in time. So I've always been thankful for not only the good but the bad that's come across my life since I've been on this journey.

Q. How much time are you hoping to spend with Dwyane?
LeBRON JAMES: As much time as I can to get with him. I'm here. I've seen him already in the locker room. I've seen my nephew, Zaire. Every moment, every bit of time I get with him this weekend is going to be always cherished. It's great. We've been together almost 17 years now, since we met at the Combine in Chicago in 2003. From that moment, we just knew we were going to be together for a long time, and it hasn't stopped.

For me being a competitor, for me being his teammate to being a competitor again, for us sharing father advice to sharing marriage advice to sharing son advice, it's really bigger than just basketball when it comes to me and D-Wade. We can actually look at each other and know what each other's thinking and knowing how each other feels at times in our lives.

To be here, for me to be able to choose him to be part of Team LeBron, for him to be here this weekend, it's a bittersweet moment, obviously. The bitter part of it, that this is his last weekend being in All-Star Weekend and knowing that his journey is coming to an end as far as a basketball player. But the sweet moment is that we've got so much more life to live together, and we will continue that.

Q. Is there a sense of pride that you drafted your team yourself on TNT?
LeBRON JAMES: There's a sense of pride every time you're competing, and like you said, I got the opportunity to hand-select my team. There is a sense of pride. I know we all saw the way the game was last year, and we're going to try to top it. Hopefully, it can come down to the wire, like it did last year, but we'll see. We'll see what happens.

Q. How does it feel playing in L.A. this season?
LeBRON JAMES: It feels great playing in L.A. When you look up in the banners and you look at all the championships and you look at all the greats that have come through L.A., from Jerry West to George Mikan and Elgin Baylor to Magic and Kareem, James Worthy, and Kobe, Shaq, whoever you name. Just to be a part of that franchise and be a part of that history, it means a lot to me.

Hopefully, I can do my part where someday I can hang up there with the rest of those guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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