EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks for New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. since his brilliant one-handed touchdown catch against the Cowboys, but it may have reached a new high point Wednesday night when he had dinner in New York City with LeBron James.
“Just my favorite athlete,” the Giants rookie said of the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar. “Just to be able to meet him, to talk to him, share some words with him, it was pretty great.”
Beckham said James’ marketing people reached out to him within the past week to set up the meeting. James was one of many high-profile athletes who had a strong reaction on Twitter to Beckham’s dazzling catch in Week 12, and he said he was eager to get a chance to talk with him. James posted this photo of the two on his Instagram page:
“It’s just casual,” James said of the meeting. “Give the kid (a chance to) let him pick my brain a little bit. I think more than anything it’s just about how he approaches being a professional on and off the field, and I think everything else will take care of itself. The talent is there, we all see that, but I think he’s a great kid. That’s just my first impression.”
Beckham said James asked him about the catch and to compare hand sizes. He said his were “about the same; I think his thumb may be bigger than mine.”
Asked whether he could make a catch like the one Beckham made, James said, “Yeah. I could. I mean, absolutely,” and Beckham agreed.
“He’s LeBron,” Beckham said. “He can do it all.”
Beckham called the experience “very surreal” and said he appreciated James taking the time to offer him advice on how to carry himself on and off the field.
“First and foremost, handle your business,” Beckham said when asked what he took from the meeting. “Because if you don’t, it’s just going to make everything else you do a lot harder.”
Beckham also was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for November on Thursday after a month in which he led the NFL in receiving yards and was second in receptions. After missing the first four games of the season with a hamstring injury, he’s attained a remarkable amount of fame and success in a very short period of time.
“It’s just everything I ever dreamed of, really,” Beckham said. “All those days you put in that work, it’s for moments like this.”
ESPN.com NBA writer Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.