King James came, saw, conquered
“You guys are un-freaking-believable.”
That LeBron James word-play of a welcome was enough to keep the whole arena roaring for minutes. But the four-time NBA MVP made sure he wasn’t just out to charm Manila on his second trip here.
James kept his advocacy at the forefront, more than just electrifying the fans with his fierce slams as he actually took the court only late in the second half of an exhibition game Thursday night at Mall of Asia Arena.
“Rise above everything, no matter what it is,” James told the thrilled crowd. “Rise above the hardships that’s going on in your life. Rise above all adversities.”
It was in reference, of course, to Nike Rise, a basketball program featuring Filipino teenage street ballers.
But unlike in his first visit, James took time to visit a tenement court and meet youth players in a tough neighborhood in Taguig yesterday. The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar also left a handprint in a hardcourt.
Before he left the country last night, the Filipino fans also got a sweet parting shot from one of the sport’s best ever. “I just have three words for you guys: I love you.”