When you are standing next to LeBron James, it's impossible not to notice how huge he is. Sometimes, he almost seems like he belongs to another species.
"I'm kind of rare. I'm like a Tyrannosaurus Rex," he joked. "One day I forgot how to miss, and I made like a thousand shots in a row. I had to reprogram myself so that people would realize I am human still."
OK, so he's not exactly modest. But why should he be? At 25, James is a global superstar, cover boy, million-dollar salesman, gold medalist and soon-to-be leading man.
At 6 foot, 8 inches and 250 pounds, he's larger than life. Before he had even graduated from high school, Sports Illustrated magazine dubbed James the "Chosen 1" -- a moniker he had tattooed across his back.
Now, he goes by the nickname "King James," but so far, he's a king without a crown. Seven years after James was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cavs, he's hoping this will be the season he leads his team to an NBA championship.
"Every day I go out on the court I try to be the best player on that court, absolutely," James said. "But the ultimate team concept is the NBA championship. ... I'm definitely approaching this year like it's my year."
Before Cavs games, the Jumbotron plays a video that shows a giant James looming over Cleveland -- and that's not far from the truth. He is a giant and this native son is a continuing source of pride for the economically depressed city.
Raised in neighboring Akron by his mother Gloria, who was 16 when she had him, James learned early how to be the man of the house.
"Being part of a single-parent household helped me grow up faster than I had to, or if I wanted to, but being able to protect my mother ... being that, you know, that man of the house at an early age definitely helped me grow up," he said.
His mother is often spotted courtside, riling up the crowd, but largely out of sight are the two young sons James has with high school sweetheart Savannah Brinson, 2-year-old Bryce Maximus and LeBron Jr., who is 5.
"Most of the time, my sons don't even watch the game," he said. "They don't care about what LeBron their dad is doing on the court. They back there [in the family lounge] drinking juice boxes and spilling chips on their lap. I don't even see them throughout the game."
But James said his 5-year-old loves the sport and has gotten used to seeing his dad on TV.
"He definitely knows he sees me on TV a lot. He knows that I play basketball at a high level. Kids love to dunk, you know he always like, 'Oh, I seen you dunk today daddy, that was awesome,' and he will try to do the same thing on his hoop back at home. And he knows a lot of players too. He always says, 'There go Kobe.'"
When asked if he could handle it if his son ever called Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant his favorite player, James said: "I don't think I could be mad at that. Now, if it was someone that didn't earn their stripes in this league -- I'm not going to name names, but there's a lot of guys that may be down here -- that would kind of hurt me. But Kobe Bryant, I can't say nothing about him. Multiple NBA champions, scoring champion, MVP. ... He's not bad."