When a young basketball fan realized Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James would not be suiting up against the Golden State Warriors Saturday night, disappointment set in.
And then she received the surprise of a lifetime.
During the Lakers’ 109-103 win over the Warriors, the broadcast caught a wholesome moment when the young girl realized she was sitting next to the NBA’s all-time scoring leader.
The 12-year-old girl was interviewed by ESPN’s Lisa Salters during the game, saying she had asked for the tickets to the game three months prior, hoping James would break the NBA’s scoring record with her in attendance.
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“When I heard he had a foot injury, I was sad,” she said. “We didn’t know if he was traveling with the team to this game or not. Then when he ended up sitting down here, I’m not as tall as him, obviously, so I could only see his shoes.
“Then I look up and I see LeBron James and what’s going through my mind is, ‘Oh my God, the greatest player of all time in basketball is sitting next to me!’ I just freak out completely, I’m just thinking, ‘Oh my goodness this is like the best moment of my life.'”
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When asked if she had a chance to speak with James, the girl said she was adhering to the rules.
“No. Not really. I’ve been asked to not distract the players,” she said.
James did not play for the second consecutive game as he deals with left ankle soreness.
The Lakers posted a picture to social media of James and the young fan meeting after the game.
The Lakers found a way to win without their star, getting 15 points, six assists, and five rebounds from newly-acquired guard D’Angelo Russell, who was drafted by Los Angeles in 2015.
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“It was a little weird but I’m trying to normalize it,” Russell said. “The sooner the better. I’ve been in this situation…. After that first stint you kind of get comfortable again. When you get traded so many times the irony comes back with all these teams and just kind of normalize it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report