One month after receiving a real-deal WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt from "Snitch" star Dwayne Johnson (better known, perhaps, as The Rock), LeBron James apparently decided he felt a little weird being the only guy in the locker room accessorizing with 20 or so pounds of gold around his waist, so he decided to hook his Miami Heat teammates up with the finest pants-stabilizers a sports-entertainment professional could ever want (with the exception, of course, of Irwin R. Schyster's suspenders):
"Always wanted to be the WWE Heavyweight World Champion so today I surprised my teammates with their own for their collection," James wrote in the caption of his Instagram post. That was thoughtful of him.
The belts appear to be have been personalized, too — as Ray Allen showed on his own Instagram account, the belt he received featured not only a Heat logo, but also his jersey number and the "Jesus Shuttlesworth" moniker from "He Got Game" that he wore on his Miami "nickname jersey" earlier this season:
Wrestling purists might grumble and grit their teeth at the Heat receiving straps suggesting that they had become the man without, in fact, beating the man in keeping with the famed Flair Corollary, but in a cross-sport context, I think allowances can be made for the defending back-to-back NBA champions. I mean, I'd obviously prefer it if Miami had to earn the title by, say, outlasting 29 other competitors to win the Royal Rumble before heading to WrestleMania to take on Randy Orton — or at the very least Rasheed Wallace (shouts to Elevatorman) — but I suppose that'd be a bit unrealistic.
This works just fine, especially considering James' tweet makes it sound like the belts might've been a gift from Vincent Kennedy McMahon's daughter to LeBron and company. I'd be willing to call the whole thing even if the Heat's social media team can promise to get us footage of Chris Andersen re-enacting some classic Ultimate Warrior promos, complete with face paint and tassels. It's the non-dunking/rim-protecting/rebounding role the Birdman was born to play.
After missing Miami's Sunday win over the Chicago Bulls while recovering from the broken nose he suffered during the Heat's victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, James expects to be back in the lineup on Thursday when the Heat take on the New York Knicks, and he's said he'll be wearing a protective mask over his still-healing schnozz when he does so. While it's likely that he'll wear the same sort of plain clear plastic covering he donned with the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2004, James did say after Miami's Wednesday practice that he'd prefer to wear a mask with "something crazy" on it in the way of a design. Here's hoping James, the Heat and the league can get together and pave the way for LeBron to rock a Jushin "Thunder" Liger mask on TNT. Failing that, I'd settle for Rey Mysterio, I guess. He's a former WWE champion too, after all.
- - - - - - -