Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James says he watched a replay of the "Thrilla in Manila" between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier after learning of Ali's death. James lauded Ali for taking a stand on social issues and said he tries to follow in those footsteps by using his platform to speak for what he believes in.
"When an icon like Muhammad Ali passes away, it's very emotional," James said a day before the Cavs play Game 2 of the NBA Finals against Golden State. "It's also gratifying to know that a guy, one man, would sacrifice so much in his individual life knowing that it would better the next generation of men and women after him.
"Today I can go to China and all over the world and people know my name and know my face. I give all credit to Muhammad Ali because he was the first icon. He is the GOAT. He's the greatest of all time and it has zero to do with his accomplishments inside the ring."