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2008, August 12: Lebron vs. Jalen – The Untold Story

September 11, 2008

 August 12, 2008 — Basketbawful reader Herman has shared a number of particularly amusing stories regarding his former job (see below). This may well be my favorite:

I used to work at the Air Canada Centre as a vendor. I used to show up early and try and talk to the players, when security didn't stop me.

One day I was hanging around the court, and I was trying to talk with Mike James. He had to run back to the locker room, so I decided to head back up the elevator to the main floor. As the doors are closing, I hear someone go "Hey, hold the door!", so I do. Lo and behold, Jalen Rose walks into the elevator. I start talking to him about Toronto, and living here, and generally joking around. He was really friendly. We start talking about the game that night (it was against the Cavs).

Me (joking): You think you can outscore LeBron?

Jalen: Of course!

Me: Wanna bet?

Jalen: Sure.

Me: Okay, five bucks says that Bron outscores you.

Jalen: (laughs) Fine. Watch me, son!

That, of course, was the night that LeBron scored 50 for the first time. The next week, I walk into the office, when my boss tells me there's some mail for me here. It's an envelope addressed to "that smartass vendor", and inside, there's a five dollar bill.

I've been a Jalen fan ever since.
Some interesting sidenotes to the game in question. King James scored 56 points on 18-for-36 shooting. He also hit six of his 12 three-point attempts and 14 of his 15 freethrows. But, whatever you might think, it's not like Jalen just rolled over: Rose dropped 30 (12-for-23) and added 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. More importantly, the Raptors won 105-98. So sure, Jalen might have lost the scoring battle and the five bucks…but he won The War.

By Basketbawful at 7:29 AM