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“My jersey is too damn small” — when LeBron James blamed his jersey for missing shots to win an exhibition match

The Philippine national basketball team once beat LeBron James in an exhibition match because the L.A. Lakers star couldn’t convert on his late-game layup. The reason? His small jersey.
LeBron James

LeBron James

Exhibition games don’t matter, but a valiant Gilas Pilipinas team once beat the mighty LeBron James during his Manila visit in 2013. James missed crucial layups in the end game and offered a peculiar reason for it.

“My jersey is too damn small”

The Philippines has been a favorite destination of NBA superstars whenever they are on a world tour promoting their signature shoes. In 2013, LeBron James visited the country for the first time, and included in his activities was a tuneup game against the national basketball team.

Gilas Pilipinas won the exhibition match, 27-29. The King had a chance to win the game twice but botched a three-point attempt and a wide-open layup.

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In the postgame interview, LeBron provided an interesting explanation for failing to deliver in the clutch. 

In fairness to LeBron, his jersey looked smaller than the ones he’s wearing in the NBA. It was a good experience for the players and fans who watched the game live. Basketball superstars are treated as heavenly figures in the basketball-crazy Philippines. Their posters are often plastered on walls, and their faces can be seen as designs in jeepneys, popular public vehicles in the country.

If the misses happened recently, critics would say James isn’t clutch or is over the hill. But credit to LeBron for making fun of the moment.

LeBron has been to the Philippines several times. He remains a popular figure there. Kobe Bryant had also been to the Southeast Asian nation and was adored by millions. In 2021, James’ L.A. Lakers jersey topped sales in the Philippines, a testament to his star power in the country.

Meanwhile, a 7’2” prodigy hopes to become the first Philippine-born player to play in the NBA. Kai Sotto has joined this year’s draft and reportedly worked out in several teams. However, it remains to be seen if he would get drafted. If ever Sotto gets drafted, he would instantly become a national hero and an inspiration to countless youngsters, just like how LeBron James inspired the next generation, especially in his hometown Akron, Ohio. 


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