LeBron James celebrated his 32 birthday in a manner you might think befitting of the NBA’s reigning king.
James and his defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers teammates had the Dec. 30, night off, but it was hardly a quiet time for the league’s four-time MVP.
“LeBron’s received so many gifts from his celeb friends around the world” a source told Hollywood Life.
Among those that stood out the most was a case of Opus One wine gifted to him by teammate Tristan Thompson and his reality TV girlfriend Khloe Kardashian.
It came along with a personalized card that is said to have truly captured James’ attention and raised his spirits.
“Khloe and TT wrote in the card that they admire his leadership on and off the court,” a source added. “They told him he’s an amazing father and husband, and Tristan told him he is his role model in every way.”
The two also made sure to express just how much they’ve come to admire the loving relationship James and his wife Savannah Brinson have carved out for themselves, adding how much they’d like to tap into those same values in their own relationship.
Finally, Thompson added if he and Kardashian are ever to tie the knot he wants James to serve as his best man.
Fellow teammates Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith and Kevin Love all also took to Instagram to express their affinity for their captain and leader.
While James welcomed all the warm wishes, one conversation he still appears to be trying to avoid is comparisons to Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan.
James was recently reminded that it was at his now age when Jordan arguably turned in the most remarkable season of his illustrious, six-title winning, Hall of Fame career, leading the Bulls to a then record 72-win regular season and their fourth NBA crown.
“No, I haven’t compared myself to him at this age, because our games are so different,” James insisted. “Our games are just different. His body is different. My body is different than his. So, just, you recognize the dominance that someone had at that age… but there’s no similarities in our game at all.”
Back then, Jordan averaged 30.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.2, while shooting 49.5 percent from the field and a career-best 42.7 percent from 3. Over the Cavs’ 24-7 start this season, James is averaging 25.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 1.4 steals this season, while shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from 3.
“And as far as a comparison between him and Jordan, the comparisons I have is when you’re on top, the best player in the league for so long and having to carry that each and every year and never get knocked down off that pedestal, that’s a big accomplishment because guys are coming for you and you’re a target — and to always stay on top no matter what, always being that best player in the league, that’s how I compare him and Jordan,” said Cavs coach Tyroon Lue.
James than hinted that Thompson and Kardashian may have truly hit all the right notes in their ode to him.
It must be the wine drinking,” he said. “Get better with age, I guess. I just feel great. I’ve conditioned myself and I’m having one of the best statistical [outputs across all] categories seasons of my career so far, and I just want to try to continue to keep it going.”
At this point in both their careers, James now outpaces Jordan in MVP awards (4-3) and Finals appearances (7-3) and is tied in championships (3-3).
[Featured Image by Patrick Smith/Getty Images]