The Cleveland Cavaliers were off on Wednesday, but LeBron James still managed to produce a highlight.
Taking part in the team's annual Flashes of Hope Big Shots and Little Stars, James was caught on camera playing with his "little star," Kaleia, just prior to hitting the runway at the event, which raises awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research. Between both the Cavs' and James' official Twitter accounts, the post received more than 15,000 retweets and 79,000 likes in less than 24 hours.
Asked on Thursday what he gets out of an event like Big Shots and Little Stars, James replied with an emotional answer.
"Kind of two things, to be honest," James said of his takeaways.
"It's sad. It's sad when kids that young have illnesses like that. And for what reason? Why? They didn't have no control over it. And it's sad. Obviously we hope for all of them to be as strong as they can and to make through whatever they're going through and that is always the hope for the prayers and everything and we want that. We want that for all our little stars from last night. But it just sucks that they have to go through anything like that. Some of them had to leave the event last night and go back into the hospital. That's never -- our little kids and our little stars, we never want that for them. So it's sad. When I left the event, I was sad. The whole event, I was sad that something like that -- they have to go through that."
James, a father of three, however, also said there was inspiration to be found in watching the 40 pediatric cancer survivors and fighters who took part in Big Shots and Little Stars enjoy themselves throughout the event.
"I'm able to smile at times as well and just be like, 'Wow, I'm in a position where I can give an hour or two hours to these kids and put smiles and their faces because of everything they do on a day-to-day basis. It's pretty awesome. It's pretty awesome and it's a great event. I actually notice nobody there besides the guys and the kids -- our teammates. We can hear [the crowd] when we walk out on the stage, but all I can see is the little kids -- especially my girl that I had -- and my teammates. Like I said, to be in a position where we can put a smile on kids' faces for those two hours, knowing what they're going through and knowing the struggles they have to endure on a day-to-day basis, it's definitely an honor and it's very humbling."
You can see the entirety of James' comments in the video above.