On opening night of the 2016-17 NBA season, the Cleveland Cavaliers invited WWE legend The Undertaker to watch the then defending champions’ duel with the New York Knicks. The Phenom was invited because LeBron James wore a custom Undertaker shirt during the Cavs’ title run. There was an anticipation that the Undertaker would rub elbows with the King. But the meeting of the two legends didn’t come to fruition for an intriguing reason.
While the Cavaliers invited The Undertaker, from the looks of it, they didn’t inform their superstar of this meet-and-greet session. This is not the first time a renowned athlete wanted to meet up with James. Like the Undertaker, Jose Altuve was denied seeing the King in the flesh.
“Here’s a life lesson. If you don’t have an appointment, don’t already know James personally, aren’t a business associate or a small child, the odds of ‘meeting’ James before or after a Cavs game in or near the locker room are not great. I once saw Houston Astros stud second baseman Jose Altuve try to get a meeting with James after a game against the Houston Rockets in Texas. The request came through various team PR officials. Let’s just say James had no interest,” veteran Cleveland reporter Joe Vardon said.
At face value, LeBron seems to be acting like a douche. But upon further reflection, perhaps James just wants to keep his personal and professional life in order. Easily one of the most famous athletes in the world, James knows that everybody wants to get a piece of him. He has no problems with this. You can go and talk to him but you have to set a proper rendezvous first.
In connection, LeBron is well-aware of his influence on the world of business. A picture with LeBron isn’t just a picture with LeBron; it’s an endorsement. James already gave him a shoutout before through the shirt.
“Another rule. James is not cool with someone purposefully trying to make money or gain fame through him, away from the court. In other words, no PR stunts that don’t benefit James. He wore an Undertaker T-shirt. For him, that’s enough,” Vardon added.
It was an unfortunate night for The Undertaker. It was his chance to say hi to his most famous fan. Taker even wore his complete outfit. But things didn’t just pan out that night. Maybe next time.