In a video posted on Twitter, LeBron James spoke about opening a new elementary school and gave his first public message about signing with the Lakers. James signed a four-year deal with the storied franchise in early July.
“It’s kind of bittersweet timing, because on this hand I have this brand new school opening, you know, and want to be there on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “And then on the other hand I’m moving. I’m moving to Los Angeles. This is kind of like a dream come true for me.... Being able to play for a historic franchise with so much history, and now being able to partner with Magic Johnson, someone I kind of like looked up to when I was younger...for it to all come to fruition at this point, I think timing is everything.”
“For me to be in this position now, the excitement I have to be a Laker,” he continued. “I’m happy to be a part of it because I believe the Lakers is a historical franchise. We all know that, but it’s a championship franchise, and that’s what we’re trying to get back to.”
James also expressed his excitement about opening an elementary school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio—the result of years of work from the LeBron James Family Foundation. The I Promise School will serve third and fourth graders with plans to expand to other grades in the future, according to ESPN. Students of the school are also promised free tuition to the University of Akron beginning in 2021.
“I’ve been sitting and thinking over the past few weeks, past couple months, on what it means to open up a school, and how excited I am about this possibility,” he said. “For me to be in my hometown, to be able to open up a school, and to know who’s going to benefit from it. I know these kids, basically more than they know themselves.”
On Monday, James is hosting a news conference for the school's opening, where he's also expected to publicly address his decision to sign with the Lakers.