LeBron James clarifies response to question about Erin Popovich

LeBron James’ emotions took over.

That’s why the NBA’s biggest star seemed caught off-guard when TNT’s Allie LaForce asked him about Erin Popovich’s death on Wednesday night following the Cavs’ 100-97 playoff win over the Pacers.

His reaction was so full of shock and emotion that many on social media came after LaForce for asking James about the passing of Gregg Popovich’s wife in the first place, claiming LaForce ambushed James.

However, after video of James answering LaForce’s question went viral, he clarified that the reporter did inform him of Erin Popovich’s death before the camera started rolling.

“A lot of people think I was blindsided. That is absolutely false,” James said in a video published by The Undefeated. “Allie LaForce told me she was going to ask me the question and if it was OK. Once I started talking about it on-air, actually my emotions kind of took over and that was just my emotions coming straight from the heart.”

James has a strong relationship with Gregg Popovich as he as played on Team USA for years.

James had to pause mid-interview at points when LaForce asked him about the Popovich family.

“Obviously I’m a huge Pop fan. I love Pop,” James said in his initial emotional response to LaForce on TNT. “That’s such a tragedy and my best wishes go out to Pop and his family. I know that’s devastating news and holy … It’s just a lot. The NBA family, we all sit together and compete every night. But something like this happens, it puts everything in perspective. So I send my well wishes and my prayers up to the heaven above.”

Erin Popovich died at the age of 67 after battling an illness over a long period of time.

Related: See Popovich and James together over the years: 

6 PHOTOS
LeBron James and Gregg Popovich's relationship
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LeBron James and Gregg Popovich's relationship
USA Olympic Men's Basketball team member LeBron James (L) talks with assistant coach U.S. coach Gregg Popovich after their scrimmage game against Puerto Rico in Jacksonville. USA Olympic Men's Basketball team member LeBron James (L) talks with assistant U.S. coach Gregg Popovich after their scrimmage game against the Puerto Rico National team in Jacksonville, Florida, July 29, 2004. The team will play its first practice game against Puerto Rico on July 31 in Jacksonville as they prepare for the 2004 Summer Olympics which begin in Athens, Greece on August 13, 2004. REUTERS/Tami Chappell
SAN ANTONIO - NOVEMBER 3: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers gets attention from Greg Popovich, head coach for the San Antonio Spurs, as the Spurs host the Cavaliers at the AT&T Center November 3, 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2006 (Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 20: LeBron James #6 and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat hug Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs following the Heat's victory against the Spurs in Game Seven of the 2013 NBA Finals on June 20, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - JANUARY 23 : LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shares a laugh with head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs at the end of the game at AT&T Center on January 23, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 23: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs hugs LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers before the game between the two teams on January 23, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 23: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers high fives Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs on January 23, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images)
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