LeBron James, ‘just recognizing greatness,’ points to Michael Phelps after dunk
Michael Phelps sat courtside for a Cavs-Suns game in Phoenix on Sunday, and his presence was not lost on LeBron James.
James reportedly pointed at Phelps after a dunk early in the fourth quarter of a 120-116 Cavs win. Video is here.
“I was just talking to people who were sitting around us, and they were like, ‘Did he just point at you, or is he pointing at me?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t really know,’” Phelps said, according to ESPN.
“Just recognizing greatness, that’s all that’s about,” James said, according to ESPN.
Phelps and wife Nicole reportedly met James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving for an Olympic reunion outside the locker room after the game.
Phelps and James shared U.S. Olympic teams in 2004, 2008 and 2012, and James made it out to the Olympic swimming venue multiple times. Phelps now lives in the Phoenix area.
“You built that relationship as Olympians so, it’s always fun to catch up with the boys and watch what they do,” Phelps said Sunday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Those guys are always at swim meets, so it’s enjoyable for me to come watch the boys.”
Phelps and James were rivals for year-end awards in 2016. James beat out Phelps for the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year and the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, after leading Cleveland to its first NBA title, despite skipping the Olympics for the first time.
James mentioned Phelps early in his speech at a Sports Illustrated awards show Dec. 12 in New York, where Phelps attended to receive a lifetime achievement award.
“Mike Phelps, we talk about you at the crib so much, man,” James said that night. “You are literally a fish. Literally. Like, I have no idea how you do what you do. You would definitely win the game that me and my boys play – let’s see who can stay under the water the longest and not come up. You’re not invited to that game, by the way.”
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