LeBron honored to play before royals

ByDAVE MCMENAMIN via <a href="http://espn.go.com/" title="ESPN" class="espn_sc_byline">ESPN </a>
December 07, 2014, 3:05 PM

&#151; -- NEW YORK -- King James is looking forward to meeting the real royal family.

Britain's Prince William and his wife, Duchess Kate Middleton, will be in attendance for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers' game against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday.

"It's an honor," James said before the Cavs practiced in New York City on Sunday. "It's a huge honor. The stuff that you read about, people like them are only in books growing up. And to hear that they're coming to town to see me play and they want to see me do what I do best, it's a huge honor."

The royal couple will also meet with President Barack Obama on their U.S. tour. Count the president as another dignitary who has come to witness James play in person.

"Well I've had people from all across the board as far as stature, but the President of the United States, that was pretty huge," James said. "To have those two, to say they were traveling here and one of the things that they wanted to do was see me play, it's a pretty big deal in my household."

James told reporters he has only seen Will and Kate "on television and the Internet and things, just like the rest of you" and hopes to get a personal audience with the pair at Barclays Center.

"I would like to," James said. "They are going to be at the game so I hopefully I get the opportunity to interact with them a little bit. We'll see what happens."

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving joked that he owns a DVD of the prince and duchess' royal wedding from back in April, 2011.

"It will be great to see them in person," Irving said. "I mean, for me, seeing celebrities in person is awesome. I don't really know too much about them, but they're celebrities in our world so I guess it's great to see them."

Cleveland coach David Blatt expressed what the appearance means for the sport of basketball.

"First of all every fan that comes to a game is appreciated and is part of our good fortune," Blatt said. "Obviously having people from different parts of the world and different parts of life that are recognizable to other people I think is great. It shows they love the game of basketball and we're all fortunate for that, too."

Before playing in front of the royal couple on Monday in Brooklyn, James spent his Sunday evening doing something he rarely gets to do -- he attended an NBA game as a fan and went to the Knicks-Blazers game.

Seated courtside across the court from the Knicks bench at Madison Square Garden, James watched his good friend Carmelo Anthony while munching on a box of popcorn.

"I knew he was in town, I (just) didn't believe he would come," said Anthony, who tried to put on a show for his good friend but in the end, the Knicks dropped their eighth straight game, 103-99, to the Portland Trail Blazers in front of King James. "But that just goes to show you what type of guy he is. Regardless of what team he's on, there's a support system there and I take my hat off to him for coming and supporting me tonight."

"He had a couple days off and he came to support," Anthony added. "I don't think you can say anything bad about that."

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk contributed to this report.

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