Not many guys make it past 18 where I'm from - LeBron James celebrates 33rd birthday
Birthday boy and Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James said he feels blessed as "not many guys make it past 18" where he comes from in Ohio.
James celebrated his 33rd birthday Saturday and the three-time NBA champion and four-time MVP spend it on the court as the Cavs faced the Utah Jazz.
Born in Akron, Ohio, James has enjoyed a stellar and remarkable NBA career since being drafted with pick number one in 2003 - winning three NBA Finals MVP awards while earning 13 All-Star selections as well as numerous other honours.
Reflecting on his career, James told reporters prior to Saturday's shootaround: "I mean, listen, man, that round, orange ball that keeps going up and down, that thing has taken me places that nothing else in this world would be able to do.
"So that's why I approach the game like I do every single night. That's why I train the way I train. That's why I am who I am. That's why I study the game.
"Because I owe everything to that round, orange ball that goes up and down and bounces when you're dribbling, since I was five years old and my mom brought me a Little Tikes hoop."
James added: "Where I come from, it doesn't matter where your birthday is.
"I'm 33 years old, and the way I grew up, not many guys make it past 18. So I'm blessed to be in this position where I am today, and I don't take this moment for granted."
Before the Jazz clash, James was averaging 27.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 9.3 assists for the Cavaliers this season.