LeBron James began Game 1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2017 Eastern Conference semifinals matchup with the Toronto Raptors by calling for and throwing down a monster off-the-backboard alley-oop dunk, just to dispel any notions that he and his team had grown rusty during the lengthy layoff following their Round 1 sweep of the Indiana Pacers. Re-establishing your dominance is thirsty work, though.
As the Cavs looked to pull away from the Raptors in the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena, James found himself feeling positively parched … and, as luck would have it, an usher happened to be in the right place at the right time to help the King out:
lebron skipping towards the beer is just perfect pic.twitter.com/qFM1qvYU6F
— nbaayy (@nbaayy) May 2, 2017
Worry not, teetotalers: LeBron didn’t actually drink the beer. (Gotta think of the kids, and all.)
“I was upset at myself because I had an and-one opportunity and I didn’t finish. Left it short,” James explained during his post-game press conference. “You know, my momentum just took me to the sideline, and then, I’m not going to run over our beer lady, you know? And she had one in her hand, and so I took it out her hand.
“But, not much of a beer guy. If she had had some red wine, I probably would have definitely took a sip.”
Just pretending he would, though, was enough to delight teammate and noted celebration enthusiast J.R. Smith …
LOOK AT JR WHILE LEBRON GRABS THE BEER pic.twitter.com/FABtc9q1Rw
— Whitney Medworth (@its_whitney) May 2, 2017
JR looks like he's peer pressuring him. Bron looks like he doesn't want to disappoint his family pic.twitter.com/eih4qeTy8v
— Chris Herring (@Herring_NBA) May 2, 2017
… and enough to suggest that, just maybe, LeBron’s not super scared of the Raptors.
dawg he pretended to drink a beer in the 3rd quarter of a playoff game
— Harsh (@IamHarshDave) May 2, 2017
LBJ grabbing that beer was the personification of that "I've faced adverse situations before and this isn't one of them" quote from last yr.
— Yaya Dubin (@JADubin5) May 2, 2017
Entering the fourth quarter, James had 25 points on 8-for-16 shooting, nine rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and no turnovers in 32 minutes, and the Cavs had a 22-point lead. He’d finish with 35, as Cleveland breezed to a 116-105 win in Game 1 of its best-of-seven series with the Raptors.
I’d say that’s a beer-worthy night’s work. Cheers, LeBron.
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