LeBron James wrote a heartfelt message to his son Bryce on his 13th birthday on Sunday, telling him how proud he is of him and encouraging him to always believe in himself.
"Man o man!!!! Happy Bday to my guy guy Bryce Maximus James!!! Thirteen though?!?!?! Where is the time going!" James wrote. "You’re one of a kind young man and I’m proud to watch your continue to grow every day and I’m also proud to be your dad!! You make the whole house laugh daily by just simply being YOU!! Always know YOU is good enough and more my son. Enjoy your day as we celebrate it together as what we call the #JamesGang👑 way! 🤣🥳🤪😎❤️🙌🏾💃🏽🕺🏾🎂🎁🎊🎉 #CantBelieveIHaveTwoTeenagersByTheWay."
In a conference call in April, James said the silver lining of the pandemic has been spending time with his wife, Savannah, and their three children.
James, who is in his 17th season in the NBA, said all of the traveling during 82-game seasons has forced him to miss a lot of time with his family. Not to mention, James has made the playoffs 13 of those seasons, including eight-straight Finals appearances in stints with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers from 2011-2018. That means he's often played three months longer than other players.
The pandemic has given him a chance to spend some much-needed family time.
"I’m able to train with my boys," James said. "I’m able to have tea time and color with my daughter. I’m able to be with my wife on a day-to-day basis every single day, either watching the kids or watching a TV series from start (to finish); binge watching series and things of that nature. Playing video games with my kids. Playing card games with my wife and my family. So it’s definitely been a bit of a blessing to be able to be here 24/7, be here with your family and being able to – I don’t want to say ‘recoup’ the time, because that’s one thing you cannot do. Time waits for no man and you can’t do that. But to be able to appreciate it and be in this moment, it’s been pretty cool. Even though I’ve missed the game of basketball like none other."
Over the last few years, James has posted multiple videos of Bryce playing basketball to his combined 112 million followers on Twitter and Instagram. He called him "the best shooter in this household" in a tweet in 2018.
And during this pandemic, James has posted many videos of him dancing alongside Bryce in TikTok videos.
James, who grew up without knowing his father, often talks about how important his children are to him.
He tries to attend his sons' basketball games whenever he can. In January, before a game against the Boston Celtics, James drove to a tournament 90 miles outside of the city to watch his eldest son Bronny play in the Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. The Lakers suffered their biggest loss of the season that night, 137-109, but James had no regrets about making that trip.
"If you got kids, tell your kids you love them," James said after the Lakers hosted Portland on Jan. 31 in their first game after Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash five days earlier. "Try to make it to as much as you can. And don’t feel bad, don’t feel bad if you happen to go to one of your loved ones’ events or something like that to sacrifice your job. Because I didn’t feel bad in Boston. I went to go see my son two hours away in Springfield, we had a game that night, we got our ass kicked. But I didn’t feel bad at all."
On Sunday, Savannah also took to social media to wish her son a happy birthday.
"Happiest 13th Birthday to my Tink!!!" she wrote on Instagram. "🎉🎉🎉🎉 I can not believe your a teenager😢😢 Keep growing into the super smart, funny, dancing machine you are young king!! The sky is the limit!! Love you beyond words!! -Mom💕#BryceMaximus."