About two hours before Sunday's Game 6 of the NBA Finals, a photo (pictured above) began to circulate of LeBron James(notes) in the Miami Heat locker room getting himself set to take on the Mavericks before Thursday night's Game 5. James has been at the center of virtually every major NBA news story of the past week, but the uproar over this photo didn't revolve around his pregame habits. Instead, everyone thought it'd been revealed that LeBron has a sixth toe on his right foot.
To be fair, the photo did suggest that this was the case. It was enough to get J.E. Skeets of The Basketball Jones to post. Andy Hutchins countered with a bit of detective work, all of which proved inconclusive. Thankfully, Matt Moore, in Miami to cover the Finals for CBSSports.com, helped provide some closure by counting LeBron's toes in the flesh and informing everyone that he has five on his right foot.
It appears that the photo in question only showed LeBron's swollen feet, a trick of the light, or a very successful guerrilla marketing tie-in by the NBA and the producers of "X-Men: First Class." Either way, the craziness surrounding this story helped prove that any story involving LeBron James can be blown out of proportion. (For one thing, sixth toes are not that uncommon: NFL great Deion Sanders has six toes on his left foot.) Earlier Sunday, I suggested that stories about James are becoming more like fodder for supermarket tabloids. I just never thought the most likely publication would be Weekly World News.
After the jump check out a photo that proves the five-toe reality from the 2007 NBA Playoffs (via Skeets at TBJ).
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Jeff Gordon notches historic win at Pocono
• Pete Carroll scolds NCAA for penalizing current USC players
• Junior dos Santos, Cain Velasquez a testament to heavyweight division