Even at 36-years-old, Lakers star LeBron James still has the rookies star-struck.
In a chat with the media after All-Star weekend, Knicks rookie Obi Toppin took a second to describe his encounter with "King" James, what it meant to him, and how amazing he felt that a basketball legend such as him knew his name.
“I always said that LeBron was one guy if I see him, I’m going to be like ‘wow’. And as soon as I see him, he looked at me and came up to me and was like ‘what’s up Obi’. I was like ‘Dang, he knows my name?’. That whole experience was good but obviously, every player that’s here is a great player and they got here for a reason so just being here with all these guys is amazing.”
It can be easy to forget just how much LeBron means to a lot of these players growing up. To many, he was their inspiration and role-model, and they pursued greatness by standards that he molded.
For Toppin, James was obviously that guy to him -- and meeting for the first time, even as a pro-basketball player himself, was an experience he won't soon forget.
Hopefully, one day, Toppin will be on the other side of things, amazing young rookies by calling them by their first name.