Larry Nance Jr.: “I used to go to LeBron’s high school games. I’m his biggest fan ever”

Larry Nance Jr.
Photo: Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Larry Nance Jr. was speaking as part of the NBA 2K Sundays with Thibaut Courtois initiative, which sees the Real Madrid goalkeeper take on a different sports star, celebrity or influencer every week on a game of 2K as a part of the #NBATogether initiative. The 27-year-old forward commented on growing up in Akron, Ohio, as a LeBron James fan as well as on playing with LeBron and Kobe Bryant.

Larry also gave his predictions for the remainder of the season, saying he thinks Giannis Antetokounmpo will win regular season MVP and Ja Morant will win Rookie of the Year over Zion Williamson.

On keeping fit for the rest of the season

Larry: “I would definitely need some training. While you’re at home it’s so hard to get into game shape that I think we’d all need a little bit of time. But I’m doing the best I can.”

On growing up as a fan of LeBron James

Larry: “Growing up I used to go to LeBron’s High School games and watch them play all the time. So I was a fan of his even before the NBA, which is really cool. Then, I got drafted into the NBA and I got to go to The Finals with him and the Cavaliers in 2018. It was just a dream come true, one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Just the kind of leader he is, it’s just so impressive. I mean he’s just from top to bottom, he’s awesome to play with.”

His prediction for the remainder of the season

Larry: “I think Giannis Antetokounmpo was going to win MVP. The Bucks were going to come out of the East to play the Lakers probably. Ja Morant is going to win Rookie of the Year just because he played the whole year.”

On playing with LeBron and Kobe

Larry: “Getting to play with two of the top five players of all time was just… I feel like I’m super fortunate to be able to have done that. There are not many people that have gotten to do that, so, you know, Kobe, obviously… Everybody knows Kobe, like he’s just the legend you know, when you shoot paper into a trash can, you say “Kobe!” That’s who we grew up watching and so, you know, getting to play with him was just so cool because when he walked in a room everybody, everybody looked at Kobe. He didn’t even have to say anything, it was just like you felt him walk in the room.

“And the LeBron. I grew up going to his high school games and being his biggest fan ever, so when I got traded to the Cavs and I got to play in the finals with him that was just, that was really cool as well. I mean it’s, I’ve gotten very lucky with the guys I’ve gotten to play with. I mean LeBron was, he worked so hard. I mean he was always the first one at practice and the last one to leave. And just to see him doing that was just so crazy. There are rookies that don’t work that hard.”