September 28, 2016 | 77° | Check Traffic

Sports| Top News

LeBron James begins tour of China

  • ASSOCIATED PRESSNBA basketball star LeBron James plays piano with renowned pianist Lang Lang, left, during a Nike-sponsored event in Beijing, China, Monday, July 21, 2014.  Four years after he left for Miami, a widely criticized departure that damaged his image and crushed a long-suffering city's championship hopes, James is going back to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers to try and end Cleveland's half-century title drought. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    NBA basketball star LeBron James plays piano with renowned pianist Lang Lang, left, during a Nike-sponsored event in Beijing, China, Monday, July 21, 2014. Four years after he left for Miami, a widely criticized departure that damaged his image and crushed a long-suffering city's championship hopes, James is going back to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers to try and end Cleveland's half-century title drought. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

BEIJING >> LeBron James began his tour of China on Monday by exchanging gifts with another former child prodigy.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ star was greeted by pianist Lang Lang at the Wukesong Sports Center in Beijing in front of hundreds of basketball fans.

The two exchanged gifts, with Lang Lang receiving a pair of basketball shoes and James getting an album of Lang Lang’s music and a CD with the FIFA Brazil World Cup music.

The two stars also played the piano together — a “piano dunk” as Lang Lang called it.

“Every time I come here, the game of basketball grows more and more,” James told the crowd. “It’s been great all the way from before I came to 2008 Beijing Olympics and all the way now for me to come back in 2014. The game continues to rise and I think that’s amazing.”

The five-day trip is being sponsored by Nike. James will also be visiting Guangzhou and Hong Kong, and two cities in Taiwan — Kaohsiung and Taipei.

“I am very blessed and the game of basketball has given me everything and more than I can dream of to my family, myself and my friends,” James said. “And that’s why for me, I always give everything I can to the game, when I am on the basketball floor, both on and off court, because it has given me so much things that I never dreamed about. I always dreamed about being in the NBA and wearing an NBA uniform. But being known all over the world, I have never dreamed about that, but basketball has given me that and I don’t take it for granted.”

Earlier this month, James left the Miami Heat after four seasons and four trips to the NBA Finals and re-signed with the Cavaliers, where his career began.

No comments
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.