LeBron James might not have been the first player to make a talcum powder toss part of his pregame ritual, but he's certainly the most famed practitioner of recent vintage. The creation of a cloud over the scorer's table prior to tipoff became a nightly staple during James' days with the Cleveland Cavaliers, even inspiring one of the cooler James-focused commercials Nike produced during his time in Ohio. James brought the practice to South Beach when he joined the Miami Heat in the summer of 2010 and earned a bit of nasty pub for revisiting it at Quicken Loans Arena during his first road game against the Cavaliers following the move; then again, just about everything James did that year earned him a bit of nasty pub. (Including losing the NBA finals in six games to Dirk Nowitzki's Dallas Mavericks.)
James wound up tabling the toss during the 2010-11 playoffs, promising to bring it back during the next regular season, but has since largely stayed away from it; last season, in fact, Heat teammates James Jones, Rashard Lewis and Mike Miller wound up adopting it as their own because James had pretty much let it lapse. One might have thought that James' decision to steer clear of old habits evidenced a superstitious streak — after all, he's won consecutive Most Valuable Player awards, NBA championships and Finals MVP awards, plus Olympic gold, since switching things up.
Apparently, though, that's not the case — as James shared with his followers on Instagram on Tuesday evening, he's ready to start talc-ing up announcers' shirts again this coming season:
The caption of the image — ostensibly intended to promote the newly released video game "NBA 2K14," which features James on the cover with his head cocked back and arms spread toward the heavens in classic chalk-toss pose — reads as follows:
What y'all been on tonight!?! Cause this what I'm on. I remember playing Bulls vs Blazers and Double Dribble like these are the best(which they were at the time). Crazy to me that I'm on the cover of a video game man! #NBA2K14 #CoverBoy #RealestHoopGame #StriveForGreatness #PowderTossComingBackToAnArenaNearYou
That last hashtag — "powder toss coming back to an arena near you" — piqued the interest of Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, who asked the All-Star forward about the message at Miami's training camp:
Asked at Wednesday's practice during training camp at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas how the decision to return to the toss came about, James said, "Uh, Just me."
But why now?
"Because I love my fans and they wanted it back," he said, "so they wanted me to do it, so for my fans."
Well, at least announcers and scorers know who to credit/blame when their heads and shoulders wind up all dusty.