CINCINNATI -- It’s rare that anything happens in a preseason game that would be considered truly memorable, considering the low stakes and haphazard lineups.
Leave it to none other than LeBron James to give about a dozen kids a moment they’ll remember forever during a break in the action in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 98-96 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in both teams’ exhibition opener on Wednesday.
While the referees were reviewing a play in the third quarter, James sat at the scorer’s table, prompting a bunch of children sitting near that section of the lower bowl of Cintas Center to flock toward him.
James was handed a cell phone by one of the children and had his newfound friends pose for a group selfie shot along with him.
“Just I mean, the refs was looking at a play,” James explained after the game. “We had time in between. Just being cordial with the fans. Like I said, these guys [in Cincinnati] don’t get an opportunity to see us all the time so, it just popped in my head.”
If James wasn’t already popular with the Ohio crowd gathered at Xavier University, about four hours south of Cleveland, the impromptu selfie snap boosted that fanfare even further as the arena erupted in applause as everyone realized what was happening.
Here’s how the finished product turned out:
— Patrick Dillon (@pdillon24) October 8, 2015
With the Cavs playing a back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday, James chose to play in Cincinnati on the front end and sit in Philadelphia on the back end, because the Philly fans will get a chance to see him play there multiple times during the regular season whereas the Cavs only travel to Cincy for the preseason once a year.
If the selfie didn’t leave enough of a positive impression on the crowd, James followed it up by inviting a young girl wearing a black Cavs T-shirt with his No. 23 on it to sit on the bench next to him for a couple minutes in the fourth quarter, too.