Continue in 10
NBA Miami Heat

LeBron James’ Celebration Of Fan’s Moment One For The Ages

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone is making much, not just of Miami Heat fan Michael Drysch, of McHenry, Ill., winning $75,000 after making a halfcourt shot before the start of the fourth quarter in Friday’s NBA game again the Detroit Pistons.

But it’s the celebratory tackle hug from LeBron James that seemed to be the most intriguing aspect of the event. It was James’ hug, more so than the 110-88 victory over the Pistons that seemed to gain the most attention.

The questions is: should James be participating in such a moment while the game is still being played? Maybe a handshake or slap on the back is fine, but why should James, who makes more in one quarter than Michael Drysch made with his shot, be making such a big deal out of it in a way to take away from the game?

James and his coach Erik Spoelstra and others didn’t seem to mind.

“I just heard the eruption and I turned and saw LeBron absolutely tackle him,” Spoelstra said. “I had no idea what was going on. I figured he hit it, but the tackle blew it away. I think the fan, while he’ll love the (75 ‘K’), who wouldn’t, but I think having that on video, LeBron James tackling you at half court in front of 20,000 (people), I think that will be the longer lasting memory.”
Were Spoelstra and James discussing fourth quarter strategy? Apparently not.

James defended his actions.

“I made sure he was all good when he got up,” he said. “I knew where I was but I was excited. That was awesome man. That was awesome. You heard the noise from the crowd and when he wound up with that I was thinking, ‘Oh no, there is no way’ and then when I saw the ball in the air I was like ‘that has a chance’ and when it dropped I was like ‘wow that was awesome.’ I am happy for Mike (the half court shot winner) and for a great cause, The Boys And Girls Club of America, The LeBron James Family Foundation, CarMax and everyone involved. It was big time, it was a big moment.”

From that standpoint, it was a classy action on James’ part. But still, it came in the middle of the game. In hindsight, the event should have been prior to pregame introductions or at halftime when it’s not interfering with the flow of the game.

“I was listening to the play coach was drawing up and I hear screaming going on. It is great for LeBron (James) and his foundation,” said Dwayne Wade.

It was 84-68 after the third quarter in favor of the Heat. It makes one wonder if James would have reacted the way he did if the Heat were down by 16 points.