Lakers' Anthony Davis and LeBron James speak to children in Chicago

ByEric Woodyard ESPN logo
Sunday, February 16, 2020

CHICAGO -- Only 1.5 miles west of the United Center, children in attendance at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boys & Girls Club were in for a big surprise on Saturday afternoon.

Not only was Chicago fashion designer/influencer Virgil Abloh and Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis in attendance to showcase the brand new Nike-refurbished basketball court, they also welcomed another individual: LeBron James.

"But the real question is, we should be asking how does it feel for LeBron to play with me," Davis teased the room. "Right? So guess what ... Aye, LeBron, come on out."

Kids rushed James in shock as he strolled out of the back room area before security calmed things down. Abloh, James and Davis then participated in a Q&A panel where they touched on inspiring the youth and the power of sports.

"The most important thing that I got from sport was like a brother and sisterhood," James told the room. "You can create friendships playing sports at a younger age that'll last forever and it just brings everybody together. It brings you so many emotions ... good, great emotions. You're being around people because you want to do it for your brother or do it for your sister and I think that's just an awesome thing."

Earlier in the day, James and Davis also participated in practice and media availability for Sunday's NBA All-Star game. Both Davis and James will represent Team LeBron with James making his 16th appearance and Davis set to make his seventh appearance.

Davis didn't miss out on another chance to dub his hometown of Chicago as the "mecca of basketball" -- which he has said on several occasions -- and said he's eager to represent the city on the top stage in its first All-Star weekend since 1988.

Davis also said he when he was growing up,Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Roseinspired him. Rose previously spent eight seasons with the Chicago Bulls and was a three-time All-Star with the team.

"The guy I always watched was D-Rose," Davis said. "That was my guy. ... he's a hero and a legend already in the eyes of the city of Chicago and I believe him. He's been one of my idols for a long time."