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LeBron James discusses race, early days at St. Vincent-St. Mary on 'The Shop'

On Tuesday, HBO aired the first episode of 'The Shop,' which featured LeBron James and various celebrities discussing sensitive topics in American culture.

After the latest episode of "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cleveland Browns" came to an end, HBO took an inside look at another Cleveland sports cornerstone.

On Tuesday, HBO debuted the premiere episode of "The Shop" -- a 30-minute show produced by and featuring LeBron James, as well as his friend and business partner, Maverick Carter.

Over the course of the first episode, James and Carter were shown in a barbershop setting, holding discussions with the likes of Golden State Warriors All-Star Draymond Green, comedian Jon Stewart, rapper Snoop Dogg and New York Giants Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr. In one of the episode's most memorable scenes, James -- who notoriously grew up in inner-city Akron -- discussed his arrival at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, a predominantly white Catholic school.

"When I first went to the ninth grade in high school, I was on some like, 'I'm not f---ing with white people,'" James said. "I was so institutionalized, growing up in the hood, it was like, 'they don't f--k with us. They don't want us to succeed. The hierarchy and then we're here -- as a matter of a fact, we're underneath this chair. So I'm like, 'I'm going to this school to play ball and that's it.' I don't want nothing to do with white people, I don't believe they want anything to do with me. Me and my boys, we're going to high school together and we're here to hoop.

"That was my initial thoughts and my initial shock to white America when I was 14-years-old for the first time in my life."

Stewart, the former host of "The Daily Show," interjected, "And that's Catholic school, which is even whiter America. There are levels to white America."

"It took me a little while to kind of adjust to it," James added. "It's hard to balance. I'm this kid that plays this game at such a high level, you're in your mind like, 'Are they happy that I'm here because of who I am or because of the conversation that I can have with them?'"

Race continued to be a predominant topic in the debut episode, with James pointing to what he believes is a double standard in the way black athletes and white athletes are perceived. The 4-time MVP and former Cleveland Cavalier also discussed his willingness to take public stands on race issues, which has led to infamous clashes with President Donald Trump.

Although an air date for the second episode of "The Shop" has yet to be announced, the series is expected to air periodically throughout the next year.

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