LeBron James Mentoring Cleveland Cavaliers Rookies

Most Cleveland sports fans, we can safely assume, hate LeBron James. But that doesn’t apply to the city’s sports stars, some of whom continue to look to James for professional advice and guidance. Per the Sun-Sentinel and ESPN: “As high school stars, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson met James at his invitation-only camp. Ever since then, the two Cleveland Cavaliers rookies have kept in contact with James, looking at him as a source of advice. It doesn’t matter that James broke Cleveland’s heart, leaving the Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat. James’ relationship with Irving and Thompson remains the same. ‘I think besides what I do individually, I think that’s just what I was born to do, and that’s just try to give back,’ James said. ‘I try to give back my knowledge of the game, give back what I’ve learned over the years to these younger guys coming into the league. I always have like an open phone invite. I’ve seen it all, everything. I don’t have to break it down, I’ve seen it all.’ […] Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, and Tristan Thompson, the No. 4 pick, both have long relationships with James and consider him a mentor. Irving is off to a fantastic start to his career, an early front-runner to win the Rookie of the Year Award, like James did for the Cavs back in 2003-04, and has been getting advice on dealing with life in the NBA from the man he is essentially replacing. James has been watching and doing plenty of encouraging. ‘We talk a lot; I’ve been knowing Kyrie since he was a ninth grader and it’s been great to see him continue to get better over the years and do the things he’s doing in Cleveland right now,’ James said. ‘He’s been playing great. He’s been showing why he’s the No. 1 pick in the draft. Cleveland got a great pick.’ James has known Thompson nearly as long and last year Thompson selected one of James’ best friends and business partners, Rich Paul, to be one of his agents. For James, that virtually makes Thompson part of his extended family. The feeling is apparently mutual. ‘Me and LeBron’s relationship is pretty close,’ Thompson said. ‘He’s like a brother to me.'”