LeBron James is admitting that, at first, he wasn’t all that wild about going to school with white kids during his teenage years. The admission came when HBO premiered its new show, The Shop, on Tuesday night in which the pro athlete joined fellow celebs including Jon Stewart, Odell Beckham Jr. and Vince Staples to discuss their own personal stories, as well as a wide range of topics.
“I went to an all-white high school, Catholic high school. So, like, when I first went to the ninth grade in high school, I was like ‘I’m not f**king with white people,'” the Los Angles Laker explained in the barbershop where they filmed. “I was so institutionalized growing up in the hood it’s like, ‘They don’t f**k with us. They don’t want us to succeed. [There’s the] hierarchy and then we’re here [indicating far lower]. Matter of fact, we underneath this chair.'”
The four-time MVP went on to explain that it took time for him to be comfortable being surrounded by white people.
“So I’m like, ‘I’m going to this school to play ball and that’s it. I don’t want nothing to do with white people, I don’t believe that they want anything to do with [me]. It’s me and my boys. We going to high school together and we're here to hoop. So that was my initial thoughts and my initial shock to white America when I was 14 years old, for the first time in my life… It took me a little while to adjust to it.”
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
The 33-year-old also shared what motivates him to keep improving after so much success, including eight straight NBA Final appearances.
"I know exactly what the f**k I need to do, I know how to do it and I know how I'm gonna get the best out of myself," he said. "I don't need you to push me. Once it gets to a point where you still need people to push you at a certain age, then you don't need to be doing it no more."