Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James alongside agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, close friend and associate Randy Mims and Lakers teammates Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rajon Rondo, traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday to see Williamson and the No. 2-ranked Blue Devils beat the No. 4 Cavaliers.

“It was a game between the [top] teams in the country,” James told ESPN of his decision to jet down from Philadelphia the day before the Lakers played the 76ers.

James and agent Paul took exception to anyone who thought the visit was a recruiting trip.

“A recruiting trip? I didn’t talk to anybody,” James told ESPN.

“They’re only saying that because it’s Rich. When Shaq came to see me play in high school, when A.I. came to see me play in high school, they weren’t saying it was a recruiting trip then. But because it’s Rich Paul and LeBron, now it’s a recruitment trip.

“Now Rich is a threat to everybody, and they look at it and they want to keep trying to jab my agent and jab my friend. And what is he doing that’s wrong? They don’t say that about no other agent when other guys go see [players]. They don’t say that about no other agent, but my guy because he’s a threat.

“And he’s African-American, too. Throw that in there.”

Paul pointed out how perception has changed since he and James attended college games in the past.

“All I care about is respect,” Paul told ESPN. “That’s all. We were just enjoying a basketball game. Didn’t talk to nobody. Didn’t do anything or nothing. But it’s an issue when you see several media people shining a light on it as if it’s a negative thing. But when I was one of his homeboys, one of his ‘posse’ and we went to see Steph Curry in Detroit (for a Davidson-Wisconsin NCAA tournament game in 2008), nobody said anything. Nobody said nothing.”

Paul then discussed the coded language he has heard directed toward him throughout his career.

“Think about it from this perspective,” he said. “On one end, you got a ‘posse.’ Or they’re ‘leeches.’ Years ago it was leeches or ‘hanger-ons.’ They’re OK when they can call you that, but they’re not OK when it’s a CEO and you have the biggest superstar in the world supporting somebody that he trusts to do his business off the court and just who happens to be a friend.”

We know LeBron’s son will end up at Duke, so this trip was more than just a bunch of guy catching a game. 

We also know Klutch Sports wants Zion terribly. 

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