The following is a full transcript of the interview given by LeBron James to CNN’s Larry King about his upcoming free agency and what might be next. It airs on “Larry King Live” Friday 9 p.m. ET
(CNN) — LARRY KING, HOST: What an honor to have during our 25th anniversary week, the pleasure of being at the home of LeBron James in suburban Akron, Ohio, the place near where he grew up, at this palatial estate. An honor to have you with us. Thank you for doing this.
LEBRON JAMES, PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: Thanks for having me, Larry.
KING: What was it like to grow up near here in much lesser circumstances than here? Then have this?
JAMES: Well, first of all, this is humbling because I know where I come from and I grew up as a kid 10 minutes away from where I am living today. It was a struggle. But at the end of the day it made me become who I am today.
KING: Did you ever dream as a kid there, that someday —
JAMES: Absolutely. Every day. As a kid, we would drive up and down 77 North — that’s our highway — there would be office buildings on the side of the highway and I’d be like, that’s what my house is going to look like when I get older. I’m going to start making my house look like this. Sometimes when I look at my house now and it’s kind of bigger than some of those office buildings.
KING: So even though all of that ability, do you pinch yourself?
JAMES: I stay humble, absolutely. I mean, this is an opportunity that I don’t think I could have dreamed of. But everything that I’ve gotten over these past two years I’ve embraced.
KING: When did you know you had talent? Particular talent?
JAMES: When did I know I had talent? I think it started when I first started playing sports, organized sports. I played football for a team called the East Dragons on the east side of town. We only had six regular season games. And six games I played tail back and I had 18 touchdowns in six games. That’s when I knew I had some athletic ability.
KING: How about the first time on a basketball court?
JAMES: The first time on a basketball court was later on that year. Football season is always before basketball so I played in my first recreation league, I played for the Summit Lake Hornets, where I grew up playing basketball in 8-10 league. I was nine years old and we won the championship. I was one of the best players on the team back then so it was pretty fun. I was able to win a championship of football and basketball in the same year.
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KING: So your high hopes were warranted? But you had a tough childhood. Your mother’s only 16 when you’re born. You move a lot, 12 times between the ages of five and eight. What are your memories of those days?
JAMES: My memories of those days was — you know, every day that you woke up, you knew it was going to be a struggle. For me, already being part of a single parent household and knowing it was just me and my mom, you’d would wake up times and hope that the next day you’d be able to be alongside your mother because she was out trying to make sure that I was taken care of. But all I cared about was her being home.
KING: Did other people help raise you?
JAMES: Absolutely. I think throughout the years I’ve had coaches, I’ve had family members. My mom’s two brothers, she had a younger brother and an older brother that was around, too, that helped raise me. A lot of my grade school coaches and my high school coaches helped.
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