All my life I’ve loved basketball. Whether I was watching it played on the court down the street from the house, in the Boys’ Club (we used to do some hot crafts there too), at school, or watching on television basketball was life. Give me the b-ball and I was flying high. So high that people often watched me from the ground and measured my jumps to prove what I had done
When I was 2-years-old my Momma gave me a basketball. Family members tell me that when that ball came into the house I was immediately weaned from breast milk. I was trying blind passes from behind my back before my arms were long enough to reach behind my back and passing the ball through my legs by jumping flatfooted so the ball could bounce between my legs. By the time I was 8-years-old there was no kid 12-years-old that could stop me on the court.
When I was sixteen I saw my first pro game and I’ve had the chance to watch players like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Reggie Miller, and Shaquille O’Neil play in person. There’s nothing like watching a game in person, the smells permeating the environment, the banners hanging from the ceiling and the cheerleaders leading fans only hype the experience even more.
Being part of 80,000 people watching a game is something that you don’t soon forget.
Let me tell you about a special game, I call it the LeBron James game.
If you’ve never heard of LeBron James let me clue you in on what makes this player unique. Lebron (Bron) is recognized by many people as one of the best, while others say the best that has ever played, or will ever play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Bron’s family history reveals that a lot like my life, his Mother raised him as a single parent and gave him a small basketball hoop when he was 3-years-old. Of course this meant that, a lot like me Bron was missing a steady, solid male figure for guidance. In his sophomore year of high school discussions began to circulate that it was only a matter of time before he would turn pro and join the NBA.
His skills continued to improve and he left high school after his junior year. It seemed that a majority of pro teams were interested in the “LeBron Lottery”. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the draft and LeBron started his rookie season playing in that city.
During the 2008-2009 season I had the chance to see Bron play the Orlando Magic. The Magic team has its own star Dwight Howard who can play like a dream player, but he has things to learn which will make him a more complete player and future hall-of-fame member. When my friend Byron got the tickets and asked if I would like to go, I was practically at the car before he stopped talking; excited like a puppy waiting for someone to throw a ball. (“Please, please, please! Throw the ball!!!”)
I was ready to go; it felt like I had won the lottery. The chance to see Dwight and Bron in the same game would be special.
Game day arrived and Byron came by to pick me up, then we headed to the arena. Traffic was not good, but it was not bad – it was NBA traffic. We walked across the parking lot after leaving the car and started up the arena steps. The crowd was growing, music was blaring through the speakers and the cheerleaders had already started their routines. The smell of popcorn, hot dogs, nachos, and cotton candy was in the air.
May people were dressed up for the event, but we were in out shorts and team colors. Our date with destiny of super basketball was more than being dressed in our finest. Dwight and Bron wouldn’t care what we had on, in 4 minutes and 36 seconds they would be going at it like ‘cats and dogs’.
We bought our sodas, water and popcorn, then immediately headed up to our seats to watch a little pre-game warm-up. Little did we know what was going to happen in approximately half and hour.
The game started and things were going well. Byron & me were both for the
In fact, Bron was so smooth it almost seemed unnatural. He would dribble a couple times, jump and turn to run back down the court. The opposite happened for the Magic, scoring was a lot more laborious. Other players would shoot a long shot, trying to score 3-pointers; on occasion lucky - most times not so lucky.
Bron would get the ball at half court; the ball would touch the floor and – SCORE!!! Occasionally he would pass the ball to a teammate and like most skilled players the ball would come back to Bron and SCORE!!!
It was almost inhuman, as if he was from another planet. When he took the ball nothing seemed to matter. One thing I noticed was that he didn’t seem to sweat. When there was a timeout or injury Bron never seemed to be breathing hard. It was not natural and he was destroying his opponent with little effort.
Characteristically, as he ran down the court he was all business but when a pause in the game he jutted his chin out and held his mouthpiece in his teeth. This really bothered us as the game developed and became even harder to watch as the Cavaliers improved on the score, making it obvious that the Magic would not win.
And all the time LeBron continued to grin.
At half time we went out to the concession stands for something to eat. While on queue everyone was talking about how well LeBron was playing. Someone commented that it was as-if he was from another planet. Everyone laughed and agreed that might really be possible.
What happened next was eerily concerning and is something we’ll never forget. As we headed back to our seats Byron commented that we should stand over the tunnel that leads to the locker-rooms and see if we could get some sort of souvenir from a player, maybe a towel. I gave him a look of disbelief that anything would happen, but we stood there for awhile.
Shaquille O’Neil and Mo Williams walked through the tunnel, dismissing us as non-factors in the day by not looking in our direction. Bron was the last player to walk through the tunnel and Byron yelled in his direction to throw-up a towel. Bron looked-up, and both of us saw the same thing, his left eye glared RED and then twinkled YELLOW. Both of us stopped dead in our tracks, towels no longer matter.
Byron looked at me and asked if I saw the eye change colors. I nodded and yelled out, “Bron” and he turned and looked up at us again. This time he grinned, turned and ran onto the court, bouncing the ball while he took a couple practice shoots. Just before the second half started he walked down to our end of the court, looked directly at us (I am telling you the truth), and grinned.
From that point forward we did nothing but watch his eyes. He cut through the defensive schemes of the Magic with little effort. He dunked the ball with ease and Byron swears that he saw the glimmer of red in Bron’s eyes several times.
All through this he never created a drop of sweat or seemed to be breath hard. I noticed that he drank some water a couple time, but laughing the entire time while the rest of his teammates were wiping their foreheads, sucking down Gatorade and gasping for oxygen.
It was the most unnatural thing I’ve ever seen.
LeBron James is an ALIEN!!!
There is no other way to explain what we saw that night. No sweat, no hard breathing, easy play, while exceeding all the Human efforts. But as I consider it now it is possible that he may never be the greatest person to ever play the game.
He is living on our planet in a human body. Human bodies break down and lose efficiencies over time. Recently Bron changed teams and will be playing for the Miami Heat in the 2010-2011 season and he should be concerned about how long it takes to put a great team together. To describe it in scientific terms, time is ticking and his human body will be breaking down soon.
Even an ALIEN who lives in a human body has to hurry if he wants to play in the NBA.
Like all of my other stories, much of this one is fiction (at least the red and yellow eyes, and none of the information dealing with my parents is true). I have seen LeBron play in-person and he does play like he could be an Alien (he’s that good). If you have any comments or thoughts on another story post a comment and I will email you back ASAP.