LeBron James Opens Up About His Kids Growing Up Filthy Rich: ‘They Need Some Hardships’

Cassy Athena/Getty Images

This year alone, LeBron James will make $95.4 million, with Forbes projecting James to reach the exclusive billionaire club by 2022.

This is mind-numbing, especially when you consider LeBron’s tumultuous childhood in the Cleveland projects, bouncing around to as many as six temporary housing locations in just one year.

“I saw drugs, guns, killings; it was crazy,” LeBron told The Guardian in 2003.

If LeBron James’ three children are seeing guns and killings in their childhood, it will likely be playing Call of Duty in the private theater of their $23 million Los Angeles home.

James appeared on the Smartless podcast Monday to discuss the juxtaposition between his childhood and his three children’s, and how he ensure they aren’t perpetually using the “Do you know who my daddy is?” card.

“There’s absolutely nothing I can do to give them the same moment, or aspirations, or drive that I had.

I grew up in Akron, Ohio in the inner city, the hood, the projects. My kids are growing up four years in Miami on South Beach and now going on five years in Brentwood.

I went to challenging public schools until I got to high school because of my basketball ability, but these kids are growing up in private schools.

The one thing I can do is instill the morals and what we do in this house, and this is how you need to represent yourself when you leave the house…You give them the blueprint. I hope they have some adversity. They need some hardships…the best teacher in life is experience.”

Just days ago, a 16-year-old Bronny James unveiled the fully-customized Dodge Charger he’ll be driving to his $40,000-a-year private school.

At 16, I was driving a ’91 Toyota Camry with no airbags. Shit was tough.

Check out the full Smartless interview with LeBron below.

Matt Keohan Avatar
Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.