While paying homage to Larry Nance, LeBron James scored 41 points against Portland Sunday in a 106-94 Cleveland victory, a contest that was allegedly preceded by a decidedly unroyal ourbust from the Cavs’ All-Statosphere guard. “Nearly two hours before the game,” reports Blazers Edge’s Ben, “I caught a glimpse of a more genuine James, and it wasn’t pretty.”
James mechanically drained his three pointers and then paused briefly as a ballboy went to retrieve a rare miss. Sensing an opportunity, one of the group reached out to James and patted him on the butt, not unlike teammates do countless times during every NBA game. Perhaps with a little more cupping action than usual but, nevertheless, an innocent gesture. The move bordered on the bizarre because it was clear the two had no prior relationship.
James wheeled, removing both his headphones instantly, clearly flummoxed that a stranger had grasped his buttocks. Upon seeing the culprit, who eyed the player with what can only be described as awe, James looked incredulous and indignant. With no other recourse available, James stopped his shooting routine, striding defiantly towards a group of his teammates that were standing near half court. A string of profanities flew from his mouth as he relayed what had just happened to his teammates, who hadn’t seen it. To a man, they were equally shocked to hear of the occurrence. James continued his chest-puffing diatribe, occasionally looking back at the group of teenagers. The young men were pretending to gaze out in a different direction, pretending to be invisible. While James’s teammates assured him that the kid surely didn’t mean any harm and that he was probably just wishing the player well, James continued to shake his head, failing to comprehend that someone he didn’t know, someone outside his circle, someone so clearly unimportant, would have the gall to touch him. Him.
I have no idea how an non-elite NBA player might’ve reacted to an uninvited ass-grab, but full credit to the unidentified ballboy. At least he had the good sense not to molest Delonte West.