Cops: Racial slur sprayed on LeBron James' Los Angeles home

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Police are investigating the graffiti as an act of vandalism and have not determined whether to treat it as a hate crime, another Los Angeles police spokeswoman, Irma Mota, said by phone.

James bought the house just over two years ago for just under $21 million, according to public records.

California has a fairly severe punishment for vandalism if it reaches a certain amount of damage, Sports Illustrated law expert Michael McCann reports: "If suspects who vandalized LeBron's home are caught & damage is at least $400, they can be prosecuted for felonies (up to 3 yrs in prison)", he tweeted. James, the three-time National Basketball Association champion, is an African American.

"My family is safe, they're safe and that's the most important", James said.

The 9,440-square-foot home is not James' primary residence. He lives in Bath, Ohio. James spent several weeks in Los Angeles last summer working with his production company.

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The question arose because as James' Cleveland Cavaliers were preparing to play the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, someone attacked his house in Los Angeles.

After being asked about the graffiti, James stated, "No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, you know being black in America is tough. So this is kind of killing me inside right now".

After noting that the vandalism had intruded on "one of the greatest sporting events that we have", James said that if the incident keeps the conversation about racism alive, James said, "then I'm OK with it".

Getting ready for Game 1 had already become a more daunting task with what happened.

"I'm at a point in my life where my priorities are in place", James said. It actually comes after me continuing to be a role model to the youth and what I do as far as with my foundation. "But to do his legacy any justice, let's use this moment as a call to action to all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence and, most importantly, go back to our communities, invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them".