Police confirmed the incident, which is still under investigation, to ESPN. It was first reported by TMZ.
The Brentwood home is not James’ primary residence. Capt. Patricia Sandoval, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department, told The Associated Press that James wasn’t home at the time. She said the property manager told officers they believe the incident was captured on surveillance video.
Sandoval said an unidentified person spray-painted the N-word on the front gate. Police are investigating it as an act of vandalism and possible hate crime.
She said someone painted over the slur before officers arrived on early Wednesday morning.
James bought the house in 2015 for roughly $20.9 million. It is 9,440 square feet.
“It’s ignorance, that’s what it is,” a source close to James with knowledge of the situation told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Unfortunately in 2017 people still think the way they do. I can’t say it’s surprising given what’s happened in this country the last eight months.
“You can be a titan of industry, you can be a community leader, you can be the best at what you do and they can cut you down to just, ‘You’re black.'”
James and the Cavaliers are in the Bay Area to take on the Golden State Warriors for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.