Utah Jazz fans serenaded LeBron James on his 33rd birthday, and the team proceeded to crush the Cleveland Cavaliers afterwards.
The loss capped off a three-game road trip that did not result in a single win for the Cavaliers. James called the trip “trash.” Prior to the skid, the team was rolling along, winning 18 of the last 19 games.
James told reporters that the team has to figure it out again, just like they did when they found themselves reeling at 5-7 at the start of the NBA 2017-2018 season.
Prior to the game, James reflected on his journey as a kid from the ghetto, raised by a single mother, to become one of the best players of all time. He said basketball has given him things and brought him to places he only dreamed of as a kid.
The four-time MVP said that he never takes anything for granted – that’s why he trains hard to remain at the top of his game.
“That’s why I am who I am,” James said. “That’s why I study the game. Because I owe everything to that round, orange ball that goes up and down and bounces when you’re dribbling.”
James grew up in the inner city of Akron, Ohio in a neighborhood riddled with crime, drugs, and gangs. He recounted how fortunate he felt that his talent provided an opportunity to extricate himself from his violent surroundings. James also has always credited his mother for instilling the value of hard work in him.
For his 33rd birthday in Utah, James brought along some of his family and friends so they could celebrate. He had planned on a bigger celebration upon arriving back in Cleveland.
“Where I come from, it doesn’t matter where your birthday is,” James explained. “I’m 33 years old, and the way I grew up, not many guys make it past 18.”