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LeBron James

One day before Game 1 of the NBA Finals, LeBron James' Los Angeles house was vandalized with racial slurs. James did not open his Wednesday afternoon press conference with a statement about his house. But when asked about it, he had a response that was heartfelt, thoughtful and measured -- which is exactly what we've come to expect from him.

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

James has been a big part of that conversation himself the past few years as one of the most prominent athletes to take political stands.

When Trayvon Martin was shot, James were a black hoodie during warmups. When Eric Garner was killed, James wore an "I CAN'T BREATHE" T-shirt. As police shootings and the 2016 presidential campaign brought aspects of racism to the forefront, James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul spoke on race and violence at the ESPYs. James wrote a column to articulate his endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president.

"It just goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America," James continued. "And hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living every day. And even though that it's concealed most of the time, even though people hide their faces and will say things about you, and when they see you, they smile in your face, it's a life every single day.

"And I think back to Emmett Till's mom, actually. It's kind of one of the first things I thought of, and the reason that she had an open casket is because she wanted to show the world what her son went through as far as a hate crime and being black in America.

"So it's like it doesn't -- 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 -- it's 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. But my family is safe, and that's what's important."

LeBron James is not Muhammad Ali. He is not traveling the world fighting injustices in impoverished nations. He is not Colin Kaepernick, staging a protest before every game.

But when he speaks about important issues, his words have impact -- and it's not just because he's a celebrity. He educates himself and has substantial opinions. He is cognizant of his voice and is mindful of when to use it.

Last fall, a reporter asked James about Kaepernick's national anthem protests. James said he would not kneel, but recognized the need for Kaepernick to have that freedom. He then transitioned the conversation to a personal thought James had been having -- an example other black parents could relate to.

"You have the right to voice your opinion, stand for your opinion, and he's doing it in the most peaceful way I've ever seen someone do something," James said then. "For me, my personal feelings is that I got a 12-year-old son, a 9-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter, and I look at my son being four years removed from driving his own car and being able to leave the house on his own, and it's a scary thought right now to think if my son gets pulled over. You tell your kids if you just apply [the lessons you teach them] and if you just listen to the police that they will be respectful and it will work itself out. And you see these videos that continue to come out, and it's a scary-ass situation that if my son calls me and says that he's been pulled over that I'm not that confident that things are going to go well and my son is going to return home. And my son just started the sixth grade."

James has his haters -- from both sides. There are people who feel that he's just an athlete who should stick to sports. Then there are people who think James does not do enough with his mega-reach to create legitimate progress.

If you're among those who wished James would have gone even deeper into this subject Wednesday, consider that basketball is still his priority, particularly this week when he needs to focus on figuring out how to guard Kevin Durant.

But James made it clear again Wednesday that if he can be this engaged in political dialogue while he's still playing in the NBA, we can only expect even more once he's retired.

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.