It’s no secret that Cleveland fans didn’t react well when LeBron James used a nationally televised, hour-long special to effectively stab them in the heart last summer when he announced his “decision” to join Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat in South Beach. So it’s probably not surprising that professional athletes who play sports other than basketball would try to use this to their advantage.
Witness Nate Burleson of the Detroit Lions, in the following video clip, doing exactly that. After making a tough catch in the back of the end zone during a preseason game in Cleveland, Burleson decided to celebrate by mimicking LeBron’s famous “chalk toss” to the nearby fans.
Those end zone fans, known as the Dawg Pound, are supposedly as rabid as they come in NFL circles. Who knows if they care even remotely as much about LeBron James and the NBA, but no matter. The message was certainly received by many fans throughout the stadium, as well as those at home catching the game on television.
Burleson has a thing for basketball, apparently, because he told the Detroit Free Press (via EOB) about another idea he had to remind Cleveland fans of yet another painful memory in the city’s tortured sports history.
“See, I had a plan. I had two celebrations planned. I was going to catch the ball, get up, do the shot by (Michael) Jordan (against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1989 NBA playoffs) and the three pumps. I’ve got it all down. I’ve seen it like a million times.
“But then when I got in the end zone, I was waiting for the ref, and then when I looked at the crowd, the Dawg Pound went crazy. They were cussing me out, talking about my momma, so I was like forget that. Where’s the powder at. Voom.”
The Jordan shot over Craig Ehlo would have been epic, but let’s face it: that happened 22 years ago. Bringing up LeBron probably hits harder emotionally, given that we’re just one year removed from “The Decision.”