LeBron James: Victimized in Graffiti Hate Crime

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On Thursday, LeBron James will square off against Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and the rest of the Golden State Warriors in the first game of the 2017 NBA Finals.

Sadly, today, the basketball legend is comforting his family after being targeted in a revolting hate crime.

TMZ is reporting that a Los Angeles home owned by James was spray-painted with the n-word sometime last night.

LeBron James in Uniform

A police report indicates that the word was scrawled on an outer gate, which has led investigators to conclude that the perpetrators never actually crossed James' property line.

Of course, that's probably small comfort to James' wife and three children today.

The graffiti has been covered up, but not before it was seen by several stunned residents of the Brentwood community.

Sources say James bought the house in 2015, and while he spends a good amount of time there in the off-season, it is not his family's permanent residence.

At the time of the incident, James was already in the Bay Area, gearing up for his team's matchup against the Warriors.

The LAPD is investigating the matter, and is reportedly treating it as a hate crime.

LeBron James Tristan Thompson NBA Playoffs 2016

A source close to James who preferred not to be identified lashed out at the perpetrators in an interview with ESPN:

"It's ignorance, that's what it is," says the insider.

"Unfortunately in 2017 people still think the way they do. I can't say it's surprising given what's happened in this country the last eight months."

The source added:

"You can be a titan of industry, you can be a community leader, you can be the best at what you do and they can cut you down to just, 'You're black.'"

Though he remains one of the most beloved figures in NBA history, in the past, James has drawn criticism from extremists for voicing his dissatisfaction with the country's current political climate.

James has yet to comment on the crime, and will likely hold off on issuing a statement until after tomorrow night's game.

LeBron James and Savannah Brinson Picture

UPDATE: Speaking to reporters for the NBA Finals media day, James said the incident "goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America."

"If this is to shed the light and continue to keep the conversation going on my behalf, then I'm OK with it."

"My family is safe. At the end of the day, they're safe, and that's the most important."

"But it just goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America."

"Hate in America, especially for African-Americans, is living every day."

"And even though that it's concealed most of the time, we know people hide their faces and will say things about you."

LeBron

"When they see you, they smile at your face. It's alive every single day. No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are."

"No matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough. And we got a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African-Americans until we feel equal in America."

James also mentioned Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955, in his comments.

LeBron referenced the decision of Till's mother, Mamie Mobley, to have an open coffin at Till's funeral to show the brutality of racism.

The NBA legend said that was the first thing he thought of upon hearing of the incident that occurred at his house.

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