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12-year-old Lakers fan sitting next to LeBron reminder of joy of sports

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 11: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles from the bench during the game against the Golden State Warriors on February 11, 2023 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Sometimes, especially around the trade deadline, we can be wrapped up in the mechanics of the NBA — team building, transactions, and what a team did or did not do at the deadline to set themselves up in the playoffs. At other times we get sucked into the Xs and Os or load management debates, and focus on the negatives of what our team or a specific player cannot do. We talk about the impact on the league that the showcase ABC Saturday game had LeBron James and Stephen Curry in street clothes (both due to legit injuries).

Sometimes we lose the childlike joy of being a fan, of the love of the game and the players.

Enter 12-year-old Gaia, who just was excited to sit next to LeBron on Saturday at the Chase Center.

When asked about it during the broadcast, Gaia said: “When I looked up, I see Lebron James, and what’s going through my mind is just like ‘oh my god. The greatest player of all time in basketball is sitting next to me.’” She said he had asked for these tickets hoping to see LeBron set the all-time scoring record (which he did Tuesday at home against Oklahoma City), but was just excited to be there.

After the game, LeBron talked to her and took some pictures, then said on his Instagram story this is why he loves playing the game.

Sometimes, just take a step back and just enjoy the game, the moment, the best players in the world excelling at a game we love.