LeBron James enraged a lot of White people when he admitted he harbored negative beliefs about them when he entered high school as a 14-year-old basketball phenom.
King James, 33, who just left his hometown team of the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA, debuted his new show, “The Shop,” on HBO. He was unabashedly honest about his experiences as a precocious adolescent being involved in AAU ball. James was flanked on the show with comedian Jon Stewart, NFL superstar Odell Beckham Jr. and baller Vince Staples.
During the filming, LBJ talked about his introduction to his Caucasian counterparts at his mostly White, exclusive and private school on the edge of downtown Akron, Ohio.
Because he believed that there was a hierarchy in America — with Blacks housed at the very bottom — he entered St. Vincent/St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, determined to “play ball” and not interact with White students.
“Took me a while to adjust to it … I was like, I’m not f—ing with White people, that was my initial thought to White America.”
James admitted his beliefs emanated from the upbringing that conditioned him to be distrustful of White people. To him back then, White Americans represented oppression to him since he grew up impoverished and disadvantaged.
At the end of the school year, however, James’ icy feelings about Whites began to thaw. Maverick Carter, James’ business partner and BFF since high school, said that by the end of their freshman year everyone was friends, with Blacks and Whites hanging out at the same parties and events.
James and Carter added that their White classmates even introduced him to something called “the pantry,” where the school’s drinks and chips were stored.
Despite making it clear that he was distrustful of Whites 20 years ago and that he no longer harbors those same sentiments, many White students were very offended and sounded off on Twitter and other social media platforms.
You can listen to some of the conversations here and then check out many White fans angry responses to the HBO special “The Shop”:
LeBron talks about the transition from his neighborhood to his catholic high school, being around all white people for the first time and finding out what a pantry is pic.twitter.com/BhIpxsC5xJ
— Rob Lopez (@r0bato) August 29, 2018