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February 15, 2020

LeBron James

Chicago, Illinois

LeBRON JAMES: It's always an honor to be here. To be here, to be voted by the fans once again, to be part of All-Star Weekend, it's going to be a great weekend. For us to be able to honor Kobe Bryant and his legacy, it's a beautiful time. Even in loss, it's a beautiful time. So just happy to be a part of this weekend.

Q. (No microphone).
LeBRON JAMES: I don't believe in pressure. If you work on your craft and you dedicate yourself to your craft, then whatever happens, happens. I'm not one to believe in pressure much.

Q. Why was it important for you to help the youth?
LeBRON JAMES: I think it's always just important to give back to the youth. You guys are our future. You guys have beautiful minds, spirit. Energy is always high. I was a young kid growing up in the inner city with not many resources, not much help. So for me to be able to be in the position I am today to be able to give back, not only to my hometown, but go all over the world and inspire people and inspire kids and inspire the youth, I think it's just as important as what I do on the basketball floor.

Q. On the All-Star experience:
LeBRON JAMES: I always appreciate it. It's the game that I love. It's the game that I fell in love with when I was a little boy. So for me to be a part of All-Star Weekend here with all the fans all around the world that we have that support our beautiful game, I never take this moment for granted.

Q. Did you gain a level of respect for Frank Vogel as your coach?
LeBRON JAMES: I already respected Frank just from a competitive standpoint, and when I was in Miami competing versus the Indiana Pacers teams. You saw how they were always prepared. They were dedicated to their game plan. They were always ready for our matchups every time we played them. The battles we had versus those teams in Indiana. Didn't need to have a level of respect because it was already there from the jump.

Q. On recharging during the All-Star break?
LeBRON JAMES: By the Commissioner allowing an actual week to happen, with that change, it's definitely helped out a lot not only for the guys that are not a part of All-Star Weekend, but for the guys that are part of it. I try to find at least a couple days to kind of decompress and get away from the game.

Obviously, when you come to All-Star Weekend, basketball is going to be the main thing and the main thing only. That's why you're here. That's what you see every day. We're dedicated to this weekend for not only ourselves and our family, but for the fans.

So I try to find a couple days after All-Star, after Sunday, to kind of just get away from the game, try to freshen back up and get ready for the last run of the regular season.

Q. On Kobe Bryant:
LeBRON JAMES: We know that he's watching over us. It's our responsibility to just represent the purple and gold not only for him but for all the greats, everybody that's ever come through the Lake Show. I really don't want to sit up here and talk about it too much. It's a very, very sensitive subject, but he's with us every day.

Q. What advice could you give to a first-time All-Star like Pascal Siakam for the game?
LeBRON JAMES: Just embrace it. If he has his family with him, let them enjoy it. Let them go around and see pretty much everything. It's not promised that you'll be here next year. But the way he's playing, he'll probably be here a lot. But embrace it.

Like I said, I'm a guy who always lives in the moment. I don't think about tomorrow because it's not promised. The only thing I can worry about is today and how much I can make an impact today.

So embrace it, have fun. It's a great weekend. There are a lot of things to do not only for yourself but also for your family. Enjoy it.

Q. On when Michael Jordan came out of retirement to rejoin the Bulls:
LeBRON JAMES: Oh, it was a very joyous moment for my community, for myself, for my friends, just having the greatest basketball player ever coming back and playing the game. I needed that inspiration. Growing up in the inner city, I kind of lost a super hero when he retired. Someone that I kind of needed to help me some way, somehow, even though he didn't know it, along with some other athletes and people. It was incredible. It was so exciting when he said he was coming back. Obviously, the basketball world and everybody else that loves him and loves the sport was ecstatic about it as well.

Q. Is Giannis a bad GM?
LeBRON JAMES: I don't know. How can you be a bad GM when you're picking 24 of the best players in the world?

Q. What are your thoughts on playing in the Olympics?
LeBRON JAMES: Being part of Team USA is always fun. To represent the United States of America, that red, white and blue is such a pride thing. Obviously, with my name being one of the names in the list of players that just came out not too long ago, it's just an honor even to be mentioned. So we'll see what happens.

Obviously, I've got a long season hopefully still left with the Lake Show. So we'll tackle that after the season.

Q. (No microphone).
LeBRON JAMES: I think just having a voice, having control over your own narrative, being passionate about what you believe in no matter if other people don't approve of it, or disapprove of it. So for me, it was never just about basketball for me. I know my inspiration, and I know how many more people that I inspire that don't even play the game of basketball. So I just feel like I could give so much more than just dribbling a basketball.

I just got to try to continue to inspire the youth. Inspire as many people as I can all over the world, make an impact as much as I can and then live with the results after that.

Q. When people are going to mention your name in 20, 30 years, what do you hope they're going to say about what you have accomplished?
LeBRON JAMES: I don't know. I'm not done. Like I just said, I'm not one to think about 20 or 30 years from now. Tomorrow is not promised, and you've got to live today. We shall see what happens, but I'm not one to think about 20, 30 years. Like I said, I'm happy to be right here in the presence of y'all and being able to answer a few questions.

Q. What advice can you give to young players trying to do what you do?
LeBRON JAMES: One, try to be better than I am. Use as much as you want. Use what I do. You could use my platform, use my words. You can use the inspiration that I try to give. But any way you can be great at doing what you love to do, you got to commit to it.

You can't want something but not put in the work. It doesn't matter what you're doing in life, no matter what it is. It could be a professional athlete. It could be an artist. It could be a doctor. Anything in the world. A president of the United States. You've got to put the work in, and I think if you put the work in, the results will happen organically.

And most important, you've got to find happiness too. If you're having fun, enjoying what you're doing, then it makes it so much easier. It makes it so much easier to want to do it every day because it's something that you really enjoy doing and you don't look at it as work.

So best of luck to you, kid. What's your name?

Q. Max.
LeBRON JAMES: I like "Max." My middle child's middle name is Maximus. So I like that.

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