LeBron James Poetry Contest claims its winner

Wed, Nov 3

Letting go is hard, we know
The King is here, and we've warmed up his seat
Cleveland go ahead and spit flames
You can't burn up the Heat

It only took Crystal Booker four lines of verse to be victorious in the LeBron James Poetry Contest.

"I'm into poetry and my grandmother heard about the contest on the radio and said, "Crystal, I know you like writing poems so you should enter one," said Booker, 24, a Miami native. "I was responding to the negativity of Cleveland having a lot to say about LeBron coming here. I'm happy he's here because we need a little bit of help and we ended up getting a lot of help. Everyone in Miami welcomes LeBron James."

Booker is a recent graduate of Florida International University who works at Eight Street Daycare, a family business.

The challenge to write freeform about the Miami Heat's newest superstar galvanized 1,100 poetry fans from 31 states and Canada. The contest was organized by the Miami Herald, WLRN, the public radio station in Miami, and the upcoming inaugural O, Miami Poetry Festival. The winner receives tickets to a Heat game and to festival finale.

Dan LeBatard, a Miami Herald sports columnist and radio personality, selected Booker's poem from the six finalists for a number of reasons, calling it "efficient" and "breezy." But he admits he was also inspired by the karma between it being the sixth poem he read and James wearing the No. 6 on his jersey.

Interestingly, the audience selected a different winner from the six finalists -- Valory Greenfield, 60, also of Miami, who offered this ode:

It is easy to compare him to a summer's day
He is as hot as the team for which he plays
Like the ball in the logo, my heart is ablaze
The object of my affection: LBJ