Photo by Gary A Vasquez, USAToday Sports
Photo by Gary A Vasquez, USAToday Sports

The video flashed on the scoreboard, causing LeBron James to look above and smile at the Lakers’ gesture. Despite liking that tribute during the Lakers’ 108-95 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday at Staples Center, James did not want to hear a “Happy Birthday” greeting from reporters.

“If I was back home, then I would be 35,” joked James, who referred to the three-hour time difference in Akron, Ohio. “I live in L.A. now. Don’t count me out just yet.”

It might be understandable that James viewed his 35th birthday with mixed feelings. He called his latest milestone “a blessing,” considering the difficulties inner-city kids in his hometown face that cut their lives short. Yet he also seemed aware of the potential challenges that await him as he turns another year older.

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